South Africa alone has a bilateral free trade agreement with SADC (Southern Africa Development Cooperation). It also has preferential agreements with Malawi, Zimbabwe and Croatia, as well as a non-reciprocal trade agreement with Mozambique. It is currently considering further bilateral agreements with Kenya, Nigeria, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and India. In late 2011, it rejected a proposal for a free trade agreement from Turkey claiming that it would lead to destructive competition that would undermine South Africa`s industrial and employment goals. South Africa already signed a major free trade agreement with the European Union in 1999. This agreement not only had a lasting impact on South Africa itself, but it also prepared the necessary conditions for the EU (and EFTA) to work towards getting African countries to sign further liberalisation of trade and investment policies over the next decade, notably through the EU-ACP EPA negotiation process. ITTIs use strong relationships and mechanisms between governments to promote a development agenda in Africa focused on identifying and implementing joint investment projects in partner countries. There is duty-free trade between South Africa and the other four countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini), which form the South African Customs Union (SACU). The 2012 Southern African Development Community (SADC) free trade agreement allows duty-free trade between 12 of the 15 members. The EU-South Africa Agreement on Trade and Development Cooperation, which entered into force in 2000, has become the cornerstone of the regional trade landscape as a Progressive Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
South Africa has also negotiated agreements with the European Free Trade Association and Mercosur. South Africa has concluded, through SADC, negotiations on Phase I of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, which links SADC, the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) into a free trade area. For government policy reasons, the South African government is working to further open its market in order to increase trade and develop more competitive domestic industries. In 2006, however, the South African government made exceptions to this approach to protect the labor-intensive apparel industry. . . .