AfCFTA to benefit SA

Sunday, July 9, 2023

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents South Africa with unparalleled benefits and opportunities.

Director of Africa Bilateral Economic Trade at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Calvin Phume said the AfCFTA holds immense potential, promising to expand market access for South African entrepreneurs and enterprises.

 “This unparalleled market reach will catalyse a surge in trade, enabling local businesses to tap into new market opportunities, expand their operations, attract investments and bolster their revenue streams,” he said.

Phume was speaking during an AfCFTA awareness workshop in Cape Town on Friday.

The AfCFTA seeks to establish a large single continental market, encompassing a population of approximately 1.3 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately USD 3.4 trillion.

 “We are poised to witness a surge in trade activities, fuelling economic growth and fostering cross-border collaboration.

“With the AfCFTA now in full swing, South Africa stands at the forefront of a momentous trade revolution that will shape the future of the continent encouraging innovation and promoting the development of value-chains, thereby spurring industrialization and job creation across sectors.

“As businesses gear up to leverage the vast consumer base offered by AfCFTA, the stage is set for unprecedented growth and prosperity,” he said.

Phume stated that with the implementation of the AfCFTA, South Africa had embarked on a transformative path towards intra-Africa trade that will enhance economic cooperation across the continent.

“When the AfCFTA was mooted by the Heads of State and Government of African countries, it was over concerns that African countries were not trading with each other, prompting a comprehensive investigation into potential solutions.

“Following this examination, it was determined that establishing a continental free trade area would serve as an ideal platform to promote intra-Africa trade among member states of the African continent,” said Phume.

The workshop raised various issues of interest, including funding interventions as presented by the Western Cape Economic Development Department, the advantages of quality management systems by the South African Bureau of Standards, and an informative session on understanding the dtic incentive schemes.

Following its successful run, the nationwide workshop is scheduled to continue in the Free State, the Northern Cape, and the North West. –