Tuesday 2019-09-17

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ESWATINI, UK SIGN MULTI-BILLION TRADE PREFERENTIAL AGREEMENT

By NOKUZOLA THWALA | 2019-09-12

The United Kingdom’s government has agreed to trade continuity with six African countries on Tuesday.

The British High Commissioner John Lindfield said UK initialed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique (SACU+M) that will allow businesses to keep trading freely after Brexit.

This marked the end of formal trade discussions and the UK-SACU+M Economic Partnership Agreement will be subject to final checks before it is formally signed.

The agreement will allow businesses to continue to trade on preferential terms with Eswatini, the Republic of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Mozambique. It also supports the economic development of these Commonwealth partners, laying the foundations for new trade and investment in the future.

“This will help to strengthen further the trading relationship between the UK and SACU+M nations, which was worth E136 billion (£9.7 billion) last year,” he said.

Lindfield said the SACU+M nations were an important market for UK exports of machinery and mechanical appliances worth E 5.7 billion ( £409 million), motor vehicles worth E 4.7 billion (£335 million) and beverages including whisky worth E1.9 billion ( £136 million) last year.

Consumers and businesses in the UK will continue to benefit from more choice and lower prices on goods imported from SACU+M countries. Major imports to the UK from these countries last year included edible fruit and nuts valued at E8 billion (£547 million) and motor vehicles at E6 billion (£409 million).

Trade continuity agreements signed cover countries accounting for E1.2 trillion (£89 billion) of the UK’s trade.

When the SACU+M agreement is signed and takes effect, this will go up to E1.4 trillion (£99 billion).

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