PRETORIA South Africa's has approved the African Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) agreement for tabling in Parliament for ratification, says Communications Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.
The agreement establishes a common market covering the existing Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Mokonyane said here Thursday that the TFTA is an important initiative in accelerating regional integration efforts to ensure that African countries trade with each other.
This TFTA is a key Africa-led project that marks a decisive step to overcome the continent's colonial heritage of small fragmented markets, by promoting intra-African investments and attracting more foreign investment into the free trade area.
Briefing the media on decisions taken by the Cabinet at its meeting, she said as a result of regional integration efforts and stable economies, there has been strong growth in intra-African investments.
Once the agreement enters into force, it will reduce the tariffs on goods traded between countries and create new opportunities for exports as well as regional value chains.
The Cabinet also approved the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) for the period from 2018/19 to 2020/21, the tenth iteration of a rolling annual action plan aligned to successive three-year cycles of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
Mokonyane said the revised IPAP summarises the achievements of the industrial policy over the past nine years. It provides an economic analysis of the global and domestic economy relevant to industrial policy, summarises the challenges and constraints to the optimal implementation of the industrial policy, as well as a range of transversal and sector-specific time-bound key action plans assigned to the respective departments.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK