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ANNUAL DIGEST 2020 SA-EU trade under the SADC-EU EPA
This second annual digest reflects on the trade partnership between South Africa and the
European Union (EU) largely within the context of the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
During the 2020 year, the global economy experienced a record-level contraction, with South
Africa’s economy shrinking by a historic 7% in 2020.
However, despite this record decline in economic activity, South Africa’s nominal trade with both the
EU and the rest of the world has shown remarkable resilience. The SADC-EU Economic Partnership
Agreement (EPA) has continued to support bilateral trade between South Africa and the EU.
EPAs are permanent, with no end date, providing potential exporters and investors, whether local
or foreign, with predictability and stability. The SADC-EU EPA is a binding agreement between the
EU and South Africa (and between the EU and Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique and
Namibia). The EPA aims to improve the business and trade environment and to create a platform
for state parties to resolve differences and pursue common objectives