Europe remains the largest source of foreign direct investment in South Africa and accounts for almost half of South Africa`s total foreign trade. EU development assistance to South Africa is mainly provided by the Community budget through the Development Cooperation Instrument. For the period 2007-13, the DCI has a budget of €980 million for South Africa. The decision adopts the agreement on behalf of the EU. South Africa is also Europe`s 15th largest trading partner. Between 2000 and 2007, trade with the fifteen EU Member States (EU-15) that signed the TDCA with South Africa in 1999 increased considerably. Total trade increased from R140 billion in 2000 to R240 billion. During the same period, exports increased from R66.1 billion to R124 billion, while imports increased from R74.5 billion to R180 billion. Bilateral trade between South Africa and the new EU Member States is also flourishing. For example, between 2000 and 2004, total trade with the new EU Member States increased by 234%, from 1.53 billion to R5.11 billion, while it increased by 170% between 2004 and 2007 to R13.78 billion. The agreement aims to strengthen relations between the EU and South Africa in various areas in the areas of trade, development and cooperation.
The agreement covers a number of areas and contains a clause on future developments that will broaden the scope of cooperation. In addition, the EU is providing technical assistance to help South Africa restructure its competition law. The agreement also recognises the need to ensure adequate protection of intellectual property and provides, where necessary, for urgent consultations and technical assistance for South Africa. The agreement provides for the liberalisation of 95% of EU imports from South Africa within 10 years and 86% of South African imports from the EU within 12 years. In order to protect the vulnerable sectors of both sides, some products are excluded from the free trade agreement and others have only been partially liberalized. For the EU, these are mainly agricultural products, while South Africa is manufactured products, in particular certain automotive products and certain textile and clothing products. Trade relations between South Africa and the European Union (EU) were governed by the TDCA, which announced the establishment of a free trade agreement for a transitional period of twelve years. .