The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will make South Africa’s trade promotion more effective and it is strategic to economic growth in the country and the continent, said a South African senior government official on Monday.
The Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel made the remarks while commenting on the AfCFTA.
He said it would be great for the manufacturing sector because their products would be bought and sold to a market of 1.2 billion people.
“The agreement will fundamentally change and reshape the South African economy. Already, exports to other African countries support about 250,000 South African jobs and it is the fastest growing part of our manufactured exports,” said Patel.
He pointed out that the initiative would lay the basis for increased infra-Africa trade and cement the continent’s position as the next growth frontier.
Patel noted that there is still work to be done to finalize the detailed modalities so as to enjoy the benefits of the agreement.
“But to realize the gains, we will need to address many challenges too, including a strong domestic and Africa-wide customs administration, systems to enable swift payments between countries; proper infrastructure connecting African countries with each other,” he said.