Answer – EU-SADC relations – E-005436/2016

The Commission published in June 2016 a report on the Economic Impact on the SADC EPA(1) Group — EU Economic Partnership Agreement in which simulation results for 2035 are made. It is estimated that Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) exports to the EU are expected to increase by 0.91%. EU exports to the SADC EPA countries are anticipated to increase by 0.73%(2).

Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South-Africa and Swaziland form together the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the oldest existing customs union in the world. The SADC EPA harmonises the SACU tariffs imposed on imports originating in the EU and consequently improves the functioning of the customs union, an objective that all participants wanted to achieve. In this way, the SADC EPA strengthens regional integration. SADC as a whole, including Mozambique, have started a process of further integration and have already concluded a free trade area.

The agreement with EAC (East African Community) is expected to be signed in 2016. In West Africa, regional organisations and West African countries are working towards the finalisation of the signature process. The Commission has received encouraging reports showing that this process is advancing well. Both agreements were negotiated and concluded on a region-to-region basis.

(1)Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
(2)All results compared to a situation in 2035 without the SADC EPA.