In December 2004, MERCOSUR and the Southern African Customs Union (SAAC) — composed of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland — signed a preferential trade agreement. As part of the agreement, they published an agreement on the conclusion of their preferential trade agreement, expressing their satisfaction with the conclusion of this agreement and reaffirming their determination to continue negotiations and strengthen bilateral cooperation in order to facilitate the implementation of the agreement. Ministers indicated that these negotiations would begin as soon as possible and provided for additional protocols to the agreement in the customs and automotive sectors. IIA Navigator This database of IIAs – the IIA Navigator – is managed by UNCTAD`s IIA Section. You can search IIAs performed by a specific country or group of countries, view recently completed IIAs, or use advanced contract search for sophisticated searches tailored to your needs. Please quote: UNCTAD, International Investment Agreements Navigator, available at investmentpolicy.unctad.org/international-investment-agreements/ FTA negotiations with SACU could lead to the first U.S. trade agreement with an existing customs union. SACU is the oldest customs union in the world; It was established in 1889 as a customs agreement between the territories of South Africa. The agreement was formalized by the Customs Agreement of 1910 and renegotiated in 1969. In 1994, Member States agreed to renegotiate the Treaty in the light of the political and economic changes resulting from the end of the apartheid regime.
The renegotiated agreement was signed on 21 September. October 2002 in Gaborone, Botswana, and is being implemented. Some observers fear that the further integration of the customs union by the various Member States that are signatories to Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (EU) could be jeopardised, as these agreements would contain policies that SACU has yet to harmonise, such as rules of origin and customs procedures. Some observers believe that SACU should negotiate this policy only as a group in order to avoid barriers to harmonization.7 IIA Mapping Project The IIA Mapping Project is a joint initiative of UNCTAD and universities around the world to map the content of IIAs. The resulting database serves as a tool to understand trends in IIA development, assess the prevalence of different policy approaches, and identify examples of contracts. The “Mapping of IIA Content” allows you to search through the results of the previous project (the page is updated regularly when new results are received). Please specify as follows: UNCTAD, IIA Content Mapping, available at investmentpolicy.unctad.org/international-investment-agreements/iia-mapping For more information: Mapping project page Project description and methodology Document The U.S. economy has also expressed interest in a U.S. SACU FTA. The U.S.-South African Business Council, a subsidiary of the National Council for Foreign Trade, announced the formation of an FHA advocacy coalition in December 2002. The Corporate Council on Africa, an American organization dedicated to expanding trade and investment relations with Africa, is also supporting the negotiations. For these business groups, one of the main benefits of a free trade agreement with SACU would be to thwart the free trade agreement between the European Union and South Africa, which has given European companies a price advantage.
The free trade agreement could also be an opportunity to address restrictions on the United States. Exports to SACU countries, such as relatively high tariffs, import restrictions, inadequate copyright protection, and barriers to the services sector.1 Some U.S. companies have reportedly expressed skepticism about a free trade agreement with SACU, raising concerns about corruption and insufficient transparency in government procurement, particularly in South Africa.2 Montevideo, Uruguay. Report on the ninth meeting of the Negotiating Committee established by the Framework Agreement establishing a MERCOSUR-SACU FREE TRADE AGREEMENT Trade in basic agricultural products is the subject of bilateral agreements between the various EFTA States and SACU. These agreements, which are part of the instruments for establishing the free trade area, are also asymmetrical and grant the SACU improved preferential treatment on EFTA markets that goes beyond existing preferential regimes. (Agricultural Agreement between Iceland and SACU, Agricultural Agreement between Norway and SACU and Agricultural Agreement between Switzerland and SACU). UNCTAD`s Work Programme on International Investment Treaties (IIAs) actively supports IIA policymakers, government officials and other stakeholders in reforming the IIA to make it more conducive to sustainable development and inclusive growth. International investment rules take place at the bilateral, regional, interregional and multilateral levels. It requires that policymakers, negotiators, civil society and other stakeholders be well informed about foreign direct investment, international investment agreements (IIAs) and their impact on sustainable development.