African Union and South Africa Sign Free Trade Agreement

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In a bid to promote Trade and Investment in the country, South Africa has signed the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement with the African Union. Rob Davies, the country’s Trade and Industry Minister, disclosed this on Sunday 1st of July, 2018 while signing the document in a notice put out by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President, in March signed the Kigali protocol indicating South Africa’s commitment to signing the trade agreement. However, Pretoria did not join 44 other African countries in signing, on the grounds that there were certain areas within the agreement that required further clarification in terms of South Africa’s constitutional and internal processes, according to Rob Davies.

The minister reiterated that the decision of Pretoria is a drawback in his speech but confirmed that the signing was going ahead after the necessary vetting had been undertaken by legal advisors.

The government also signed two annexure on trading goods and services in the continent.

“We are very happy to be part of this club,” said Davies. He stated that the Department of Trade and Industry would without delay present the proposal to Cabinet to send the agreement to parliament for ratification. The signed agreement will increase intra-regional trade and further more complex levels of production on the African continent.