EFTA and SACU meet for first Joint Committee meeting

Published 05-02-2009
The EFTA States and the members of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) held their first Joint Committee meeting on 3-4 February 2009 in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa, nine months after the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The EFTA-SACU FTA created a free trade area between the four EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the five SACU Member Countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland).

At their first Joint Committee meeting, representatives from both sides reviewed the implementation of the FTA since its entry into force on 1 May 2008. They noted that trade and investment flows had increased and that the Agreement was functioning well. The Parties also discussed recent bilateral and multilateral trade talks and their possible impact on the FTA.

Two expert meetings on customs matters and agriculture were held in the margins of the Joint Committee. In addition, contacts were established for further technical cooperation between EFTA and the SACU States.

In 2007, total two-way merchandise trade between EFTA and SACU reached 2.45 billion USD, an increase of 10% from 2006. The EFTA States exported goods worth 850 million, while imports from SACU amounted to 1.6 billion.