EU development assistance to South Africa is mainly provided by the EU budget through the Development Cooperation Financing Instrument. As with other development cooperation agreements, decentralized cooperation is a key element of support, requiring significant civil society participation in the development process. South Africa is now Europe`s 15th largest trading partner. Trade with the 15 EU-15 countries that signed the TDCA with its SA in 1999 increased significantly between 2000 and 2007. Total trade increased from R10 billion R140 billion in 2000 to R240 billion. Over the same period, exports increased from R66.1 billion to R6.1 billion to R6.1 billion, while imports increased from R180 billion to R180 billion. Bilateral trade between South Africa and the new EU Member States is also on the rise. Thus, overall trade with the new EU Member States increased by 234% between 2000 and 2004, from R1.53 billion to R5.11 billion, while it increased by 170% between 2004 and 2007 to reach 13.78 billion. The agreement contains detailed rules of origin to ensure that products to which preferential regimes are subject come only from South Africa or the EU. In order to take into account modern international production processes, the rules of origin are relaxed by specific provisions. Agreement on trade, development and cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, one party and the Republic of South Africa of the other party – Protocol 1 on the definition of “original products” and methods of administrative cooperation – Protocol 2 on mutual assistance in customs – Final Act (The agreement provides for the liberalisation of 95% of EU imports from South Africa within 10 years. South Africa from the EU in 12 years. In order to protect vulnerable sectors on both sides, some products are excluded from the free trade agreement, others have been only partially liberalized.
For the EU, these are mainly agricultural products, while South Africa is an industrial product, including certain automotive products and certain textile and clothing products. However, since December 2006, there are plans to strengthen trade liberalization in the automotive sector. The agreement contains provisions aimed at avoiding abuse by dominant firms and thus ensuring free competition between EU and South African companies. Cooperation takes place through consultations between the relevant authorities. In addition, the EU is providing technical assistance to help South Africa restructure its competition legislation. The agreement also recognises the need to ensure adequate protection of intellectual property and provides, where appropriate, urgent consultations and technical assistance for South Africa. Successive amendments to the agreement were introduced in the original text. This consolidated version is only of documentary value. The duration of the agreement is not fixed, but can be amended within five years of its entry into force to consider possible changes. The agreement covers essentially five areas of cooperation, namely political dialogue, development cooperation, trade and trade cooperation, economic cooperation and cooperation in other areas.