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ATF (Namibian Agricultual Trade Forum)

Current negotiations for preferential trade agreements

More information about the SADC – EPA and the COMESA – EAC – SADC Tripartite Free Trade Agreement.


Namibia, together with Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa, is negotiating to establish a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (EU). Although SADC consists of 15 member countries, other eight SADC Member States (Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) are negotiating in other regional EPA configurations. The group that Namibia is negotiating in is called the SADC EPA Group.

The Economic Partnership Agreement was necessitated by the expiry of the trade chapter of the Cotonou Agreement, which was granted a waiver under the World Trade Organisation rules. This waiver allowed non-reciprocal and preferential market access for goods from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries into the EU.

At the end of 2007 Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique signed the Interim EPA. Namibia only initialled the Interim Agreement with a declaration that concerns raised in the Agreement will be addressed in the negotiations towards the full EPA. In 2010, the parties agreed to abandon the Interim EPA and work towards concluding a final EPA. The negotiations in this respect are still on-going and are envisaged to be completed in early 2014. The major issues in the negotiations are agricultural market access, export taxes, sustainable development and agricultural safeguard provisions.

Interim Economic Partnership Agreement
Download PDF Document: Interim Economic Partnership Agreement

COMESA – EAC – SADC Tripartite Free Trade Agreement

The 1st Tripartite Summit held in Kampala, Uganda in October 2008 decided to establish a Tripartite FTA between the regional blocks of SADC, East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA). The negotiations were launched at the 2nd Tripartite Summit held in July 2011 in South Africa and the ‘Roadmap for the establishment of the Tripartite FTA’ was adopted. The Tripartite is based on three pillars: market integration, infrastructure development, and industrial development.

The negotiations will be conducted in 2 phases, where Phase I will focus on trade in goods. The Movement of Business Persons would be negotiated during the 1st phase but through a separate track. Phase II of negotiations will cover the built-in agenda in services and trade-related areas, and will commence after the conclusion of Phase I. The overarching objective of the Tripartite is to accelerate economic integration of the continent and promote intra-continental trade. The FTA, once concluded, is expected to cover 26 countries on the African continent. While the negotiations where launched in 2011, the FTA is expected to be launched in January 2016.

Declaration Launching Tripartite FTA Negotiations - English - 12.06.2011
Download PDF Document: Declaration Launching Tripartite FTA Negotiations
Roadmap for Negotiating COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) - English
Download PDF Document: Roadmap for Negotiating COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA)
Tripartite-Triparrtite MoU Signed Version
Download PDF Document: Tripartite-Triparrtite MoU Signed Version

Recently Added Issues

Published: 9 November 2017

Revised import conditions notified to WTO SPS Committee


This issue emanates from late 2013 when the rev...

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Published: 18 June 2015

Namibia signs Tripartite FTA Agreement


Below is the COMESA/EAC/SADC Tripartite Free Tr...

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