The European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner, Ms. Cecilia Malmstrom visited the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat on the 8th June 2016. The Commissioner held discussions with the SADC Executive Secretary, H.E. Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax regarding the implementation of the SADC Economic Agreement and how it will contribute to the SADC’s regional agenda on industrialization and economic integration.
Dr. Tax welcomed the Commissioner and her delegation to the SADC Secretariat and thanked the EU for the continued cooperation and support to the SADC region. She informed the Commissioner that SADC was keen to continue the mutual cooperation with the European Union. "The scheduled signing of the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between six (6) SADC member States and the European Union on the 10th June 2016 at Kasane, Botswana, is further testimony of SADC's commitment to closer cooperation with the EU", she added.
The SADC-EU EPAs will provide, among others, the implementation of guaranteed duty free, quota-free market access to the EU for goods from Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. South Africa will also have improved preferential treatment for their products over and above what is already covered by the EU-South Africa Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement into the EU market.
The Commissioner was accompanied by the European Union Ambassador to Botswana and SADC, His Excellency Alexander Baum, member of her Cabinet, Ms. Cecile Billaux, the Trade Counsellor of the EU Delegation, Mr. John Taylor and Mr. Jocelin Cornet