On 19 February Ambassador Sigutė Jakštonytė participated at the first European Union (EU) – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement Joint Council meeting that took place in Cape Town.
Amongst other issues the Council discussed the implementation of the agreement, the possibilities to facilitate customs procedures, to promote trade and to reduce the application of non-tariff barriers.
Development oriented Economic Partnership Agreement obliges participants to pursue sustainable development, including compliance with social and environmental standards, as well as provides opportunities for six South African states to export to the EU market duty-free and quota-free. Markets of South African countries will open for EU exports gradually over time.
The EU is the largest trading partner of the EPA Group in the Southern African Development Community. The South African Development Community EPA Group consists of six of the 15 members of the Southern African Development Community (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa). Angola has observer status and can join in the future.
The first meeting of the European Union (EU) – Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership agreement Joint Council took place in Cape Town