At today`s meeting, representatives of the EU and SADC took decisions ensuring the proper functioning of all the institutions created by the EPA. The meeting will also focus on the important role that non-state actors should play in monitoring and evaluating the impact of the agreement. On 10 June 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the SADC EPA Group, comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Angola has the opportunity to accede to the agreement in the future. H.E. Dr. Tax provided the EU delegation with information on the humanitarian appeal, which requires $323 million and was launched on 11 April 2019 in Windhoek Namibia by SADC President His Excellency Hage G. Geingob, President of the Republic, as part of regional efforts to mitigate the effects of Cyclone Idai. She thanked all those involved who, so far, have contributed in different ways to humanitarian aid. The other six members of the Southern African Development Community – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU within the framework of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, who is co-chairing the meeting, said: “Trade is an effective instrument for development and I am very pleased that this development-oriented agreement is starting to bear fruit.

We must now focus on putting all the remaining aspects of the agreement into practice, so that citizens and businesses on both sides can take full advantage of the opportunities offered by our partnership. The decisions taken today by the Joint Council take us in the right direction. On 10 June 2016, the EU signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the SADC EPA Group, comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. The agreement was the first regional EPA in Africa to be fully operational after Mozambique`s accession in February 2018. The EU`s Economic Partnership Agreements aim to promote trade with participating countries and ultimately contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction through trade and investment. The EU-SADC EPA is also one of the building blocks of the future African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Improved trade opportunities for goods: The EPA guarantees duty- and quota-free access to the EU market for Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini. South Africa benefits from new market access compared to the EU-South Africa Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA), which currently governs trade relations with the EU until October 2016 (when the EPA entered into force provisionally, thus eliminating the trade component of the TDCA). The new access includes better trading conditions, particularly in the agriculture and fisheries sector, notably for wine, sugar, fishery products, flowers and fruit cans.

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