PRETORIA SEEKS CONTINUED TRADE, INVESTMENT TIES WITH POST-BREXIT BRITAIN

PRETORIA, The South African government’s priority is to ensure that there is certainty and continuity in the trade and investment relationship with Britain post-Brexit, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.

Addressing the British Chamber of Business dialogue on the Britain-South Africa relationship post-Brexit on Friday, Davies said the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) provided a good basis to facilitate trade between South Africa and Britain going forward.

Our priority now is that we do not want any interruption in our trade relations with the United Kingdom. The UK government has given an indication that it will roll over existing trade arrangements to provide continuity and predictability, said Davies.

He added that the EPA represented an improvement on the Trade Development Co-operation Agreement (TDCA) in a number of respects in that it harmonised the trading regime between the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) and the European Union (EU). It further secured market access in agriculture beyond the TDCA provisions.

SACU is the world’s oldest customs union and predates the EU by 50 years.

Under the EPA, we have secured an improved market access for wines and some fruit products, as well as negotiated new access for sugar and ethanol, Davies said.

In addition, South Africa has managed to gain recognition for some of its geographical products like Rooibos (tea), Honey bush and Karoo lamb under the EPA, as well as some wine names.

Britain is South Africa’s historical and strategic trade and investment partner and continues to be a key market for agricultural exports and account for more than 20 per cent of South Africa’s exports of wine and 30 per cent of fruit exports globally.

The UK is also the biggest destination in the EU for South African investment, accounting for 30 per cent of South African investments into Europe.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK