The EPA provides asymmetric access to the partners of the APE CDAA group. They can protect sensitive products from full liberalisation and safeguards can be taken if imports from the EU increase too rapidly. A detailed chapter on development identifies areas of trade that can benefit from financing. The agreement also contains a chapter on sustainable development that covers social and environmental issues. At today`s meeting, EU and SADC representatives made decisions that will ensure the effective functioning of all the institutions created by the EPA. The meeting will also focus on the important role that non-state actors should play in monitoring and assessing the impact of the agreement. On 10 June 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the CDAA-EPA Group of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Angola has the opportunity to join the agreement in the future. The agreement covers next-generation issues, such as intellectual property rights, competition and investment, as well as public procurement.

The parties have agreed to cooperate on these issues and may consider negotiations in the future. If agreements are negotiated in the future, they must be compatible with the CDAA regional framework. Improved merchandise trade opportunities: The EPA guarantees access to the EU market without tariffs or quotas for Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini. South Africa enjoys new market access under the EU-South Africa Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which currently governs trade relations with the EU until October 2016 (when the EPA came into force on an interim basis, which lifted the trade component of the TDCA). The new access includes better trading conditions, particularly in agriculture and fishing, including wine, sugar, fish products, flowers and fruit preserves. The EU will benefit from new valid access to the southern African customs union (whose products include wheat, barley, cheese, meat products and butter) and will have the security of a bilateral agreement with Mozambique, one of the region`s LDCs. The agreement was the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique began implementing the EPA in February 2018. These trade rules are based on a detailed chapter on development, which identifies areas of trade that could benefit from increased funding and support. As with all modern agreements, the EPA has a chapter on sustainable development. The parties reaffirm their obligations under international conventions and agree to respect their environmental and labour laws. European Commission Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said: “Trade is a powerful development tool and I am very pleased that this development-focused agreement is bearing fruit.

We must now focus on putting into practice all the remaining aspects of the agreement, so that citizens and businesses on both sides can take full advantage of the opportunities offered by our partnership. Today`s decisions by the Joint Council are moving us in the right direction. On 10 June 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the CDAA-EPA Group of Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland.