“The UK strongly believes in the power of free trade to increase mutual prosperity, reduce poverty and create sustainable jobs and livelihoods,” said Nigel Casey, UK High Commissioner for South Africa, in an exclusive interview with Engineering News and Mining Weekly. After two years of negotiations, a new agreement, SACUM-UK EPA, was reached in September 2019. This is essentially a transfer of the terms of the CDAA-EU EPA to the new SACUM-UK EPA. These conditions apply: “Quotas under the agreement have been negotiated and adapted to take into account South Africa`s important trade flows with the UK to ensure that South African agricultural producers can continue to export their products to the UK and EU at the end of the [UK/EU] transition period at the same preferential rates as before,” he said. “The importance of this trade to South Africa`s economy was highlighted during the coronavirus crisis.” The EPA protects the interests of both South African exporters to Britain and British exporters to South Africa. According to the DTI, the agreement also provides for new duty-free quotas for the SACUM region for some 70,000 tonnes of refined and unrefined sugar, 18,000 tonnes of canned pears, apricots and peaches, and about 70 million litres of wine. Machinery, textiles and clothing, tea, beef, fresh fruit, fish and nuts are among the many other products exported from the region to the UK. In total, trade between the UK and SACUM countries amounted to $12 billion in 2018. “The EPA UK-SACU-M provides an excellent platform to strengthen cooperation in areas of mutual interest,” he said. “As the transition period approaches, we must first focus on the successful implementation of the EPA. But once we have done so, the agreement will have mechanisms in place to look at ways to improve it in order to further increase mutual ambitions. And of course, there are many ways to develop and diversify this relationship by investing in sectors such as infrastructure (including mining), energy, renewable energy, agricultural technologies, financial services and free services, the green economy, defence and security. International trade is essential for Diageo because it allows us to reach more consumers and markets around the world. Africa is an important growth region for Diageo, including export markets such as South Africa for Scotch whisky.
The United Kingdom and the territory of Southern Africa, now known as South Africa, have a long history with the United Kingdom, which plays a very important role in the formation of the modern republic of South Africa. The beginning of relations between South Africa and the United Kingdom began on 31 May 1910, when the Union of South Africa was founded as the Dominion of the British Empire. From 1910 to South Africa, on May 31, 1961, South Africa declared itself a republic, South Africa fought for support and as part of the British Empire during the First and Second World War.