Members asked whether the agreement covered 90% of SA`s trade with the EU, for the remaining 10%. The DTI was asked about the impact of the refugee situation in the EU on the political climate. Concerns have been expressed about how to strike a balance between imports of goods from the EU and the simultaneous protection of south African products produced locally. It was feared that the importation of cheaper industrial products from the EU would destroy local industries. Members asked how cooperatives could be brought into the agricultural space; and whether there were incentives for Croatia`s import and export duties. If there were incentives, what are these types of incentives? Were there any tax breaks on both sides of the agreement? Has DTI encouraged South African companies? MEPs feared that the Croatian government would subsidize Croatian exports to SA. If this were the case, cheaper Croatian products would flood the South African market. There was reason to fear that this would have a negative effect on SA`s domestic markets. Members felt that the information was not specific on the opportunities and challenges associated with the agreement. DTI was asked to provide members with figures on the benefits of the agreement for its SA. Information on national and international benefits and challenges was needed. MEPs asked for details on the value of car exports to the EU.
The DTI was also asked about the value of provincial exports to the EU. The Committee asked the DTI to provide it with a complete list of all exports to the EU. South Africa is an emerging economy. A large part of the population lives in poverty. The EU is by far South Africa`s main development partner and provides a significant share of the external aid it receives. The asymmetrical nature of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) means that African signatories are not required to react with the same degree of market openness as the EU. Successive amendments to the agreement were introduced in the original text. This consolidated version is only of documentary value. The five SACU countries combined are the largest non-oil trading partner of the United States in sub-Saharan Africa, with two-way trade of $18.2 billion in 2008.
the additional protocol dealt with the enlargement of the European Union. Ten other Member States joined in 2004 and two more in 2007. The trade impact thus demonstrated was explained, as were the challenges facing South Africa. The effects of these effects will not be visible until after the end of the transition period in 2012. The key points raised during the discussion were multiple and complete.