TRIPARTITE FREE TRADE AGREEMENT TO BE SUBMITTED TO SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT FOR RATIFICATION

CAPE TOWN– The government is in the process of submitting documentation and the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement to Parliament for ratification, says South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Luwellyn Landers.

Responding to questions during the Peace and Security Cluster’s question and answer session at the National Council of Provinces, the upper house Parliament, here Tuesday, he said: South Africa signed the Tripartite Agreement during the 6th Tripartite Sectorial Ministerial Committee meeting in July 2017.

So far, 22 countries have signed the TFTA agreement. For the TFTA to be implemented, it requires 14 countries to ratify it and so far, only two countries — Uganda and Egypt — have ratified. South Africa is in the process of submitting the relevant documentation and agreement to Parliament for its ratification.”

President Cyril Ramaphosa led a South African delegation to the African Union (AU) Extraordinary Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, earlier this month when he signed the Kigali Declaration on the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The President said last week that the South African government had, after signing the Kigali Declaration, undertaken to ratify all related instruments in accordance with the country’s domestic laws and process.

The Tripartite Free-Trade Area Agreement is the initiative between three regional economic communities (RECs) in the eastern and southern Africa sub-regions — The East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), — which have overlapping memberships.

The TFTA is anchored on three pillars — market integration, infrastructure development and industrial development. This is based on the recognition of the importance of a developmental integration approach which does not only focus on market access, but also addresses the productive capacity and infrastructure constraints of both the region and the continent, said Landers.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK