Minister Davies and Deputy Minister Magwanishe to Attend the African Union Ministers Trade Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda

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The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies and Deputy Minister Mr. Bulelani Magwanishe will attend the African Union Ministers of Trade (AMOT) meeting in Kigali, Rwanda from 8-9 March 2018. The Ministers of Trade will consider the concluded legal instruments to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) ahead of the Extra-Ordinary Summit of African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government on 21 March 2018. 

As pointed out by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation address on 16 February 2018, “Negotiations towards the Continental Free Trade Agreement are progressing at a brisk pace, and it is expected that the framework agreement could be concluded soon”. The negotiations were launched in June 2015, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Significant progress has been achieved over a period of less than two years setting a good basis for the establishment of the AfCFTA. The AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government held in January 2018 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, agreed to hold an Extraordinary Summit on 21 March 2018 to consider the AfCFTA legal instruments and Declaration launching the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The envisaged AfCFTA offers an opportunity to create larger economies of scale, a bigger market and improve the prospects of the African continent to attract investment. South Africa is, therefore, committed to a coordinated strategy to boost intra-Africa trade and to build an integrated market in Africa that will see a market of over 1 billion people with a GDP of approximately US$2.6 trillion. Beyond the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), the AfCFTA will provide new export opportunities for South African products in West Africa and North Africa.

The AfCFTA is being pursued under the development integration approach that combines market integration with industrial and infrastructure development to address Africa’s productive capacity and supply side constraints, promote the diversification of Africa’s export base from dependence on raw materials to value added products, as well as alleviate the chronic infrastructure deficit in Africa. 

Most importantly, the AfCFTA is expected to facilitate the movement of goods and services among African countries. It will also result in harmonisation of customs documentation and processes thus enhancing trade facilitation. The AfCFTA will also establish an effective and functional dispute settlement mechanism to deal with trade disputes arising from the commitments countries will undertake.  

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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Source: South Africa

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March 6 (Tuesday), 2018 |

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