The EFTA states and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) met in Geneva, Switzerland from 30 January to 1 February for a first round of negotiations on a review of their existing Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
Senior Advisor Lars Erik Nordgaard from the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries acted as EFTA spokesperson, while Deputy Director General Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter from the South African Department of Trade and Industry led the SACU delegation.
Pursuing a general update and development of the existing FTA, the two delegations discussed trade in goods, rules of origin and customs matters, trade and sustainable development and trade facilitation.
Merchandise trade stands at some 1.6 billion USD and has grown steadily over recent years. EFTA’s main exports include pharmaceuticals, ships and vessels, machinery and mineral fuel, while imports include aluminium, vehicles and nickel, as well as fruits, nuts and meat.
Delegations aim at holding the next round of the review process in the spring of 2018.
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