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Public Sector Manager - - Contents - Com­piled by: Mary Alexan­der

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South Africa has be­come the 19th coun­try to sign an agree­ment es­tab­lish­ing the African Tri­par­tite Free Trade Area (TFTA).

The TFTA is a planned in­te­grated mar­ket of 26 African coun­tries with a com­bined pop­u­la­tion of 625 mil­lion peo­ple and a to­tal gross do­mes­tic prod­uct of US$1.6 tril­lion.

South Africa signed the agree­ment in Kam­pala, Uganda, dur­ing the re­cent meet­ing of the Tri­par­tite Sec­toral Min­is­ters' Com­mit­tee.

The meet­ing was at­tended by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Com­mon Mar­ket for East­ern and South­ern Africa, the East African Com­mu­nity, and South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity.

When it comes into force, the agree­ment will re­duce tar­iffs on goods traded be­tween mem­ber coun­tries and cre­ate new op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­ports and re­gional value chains.

Trade and In­dus­try Min­is­ter Rob Davies said the TFTA was an im­por­tant step to­wards mean­ing­ful in­tra-Africa trade.

“The con­clu­sion of these ne­go­ti­a­tions will be an­other im­por­tant step for­ward in the process,” Min­is­ter Davies said.

“It will pro­vide com­mer­cial ben­e­fits to our busi­ness peo­ple by en­abling them to trade prod­ucts be­tween South­ern African Cus­toms Union and East African Com­mu­nity coun­tries at a re­duced or zero tar­iff.”

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