EFTA States and SACU hold second round on a review of the Free Trade Agreement

Published 28-05-2018
Delegations of EFTA and SACU.
EFTA and the South African Customs Union (SACU) met for a second round of negotiations on a review of the existing Free Trade Agreement in Durban, South Africa from 23 to 25 May 2018.

Senior Advisor Lars Erik Nordgaard from the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries acted as the EFTA spokesperson, while Deputy Director General, International Trade and Economic Development, Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter from the South African Department of Trade and Industry led the SACU delegation.

Building on the momentum from the first review meeting and intersessional exchanges, the two sides discussed trade in goods, rules of origin and customs matters, trade and sustainable development, trade facilitation and touched upon trade promotion. Good progress was achieved in all areas covered by the discussions and follow-up work agreed upon.

The delegations agreed to continue the review process with the view to make further progress. The next review meeting is planned for early autumn of 2018.

The review process was launched with the first review meeting in Geneva in January 2018 and is aiming to update the existing Free Trade Agreement, which was signed in 2006 and entered into force in 2008.

Merchandise trade between the EFTA States and SACU stands at some 1600 million USD and has grown steadily over the last years. EFTA’s main exports include pharmaceuticals, ships and vessels, machinery and mineral fuel, while EFTA’s main imports include aluminium, vehicles and nickel, as well as fruits, nuts and meat.

Read more on EFTA-SACU negotiations and trade statistics.

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