South Africa signed a major free trade agreement with the European Union in 1999. This agreement not only had a lasting effect on South Africa itself, but also set the conditions for stronger EU (and EFTA) action to get African nations to commit to greater trade and investment policy liberalization over the next decade, notably through the EPA negotiation process between the EU and ACP countries. Under the CDAA EPA, the EU has eliminated all or part of tariffs on 98.7% of imports from South Africa, while guaranteeing unrestricted access to other signatory countries. Today, the EU is South Africa`s main trading and investment partner. South Africa alone has a bilateral free trade agreement with SADC (Southern Africa Development Cooperation). There are also preferential agreements with Malawi, Zimbabwe and Croatia, as well as a non-reciprocal trade agreement with Mozambique. It is currently considering other bilateral agreements with Kenya, Nigeria, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and India. At the end of 2011, it rejected a proposal for a free trade agreement put forward by Turkey, which would lead to destructive competition that would undermine South Africa`s industrial and employment objectives. It describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to which that country belongs, including with the United States. Includes websites and other resources that allow U.S. companies to get more information about how they can use these agreements. There are duty-free exchanges between South Africa and the four other countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and eSwatini) that make up the Southern 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 Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and South Africa, which came into force in 2000, has made available a progressive free trade agreement (FTA) that has become the cornerstone of the regional trading landscape. South Africa has also negotiated agreements with the European Free Trade Association and Mercosur. South Africa, through SADC, has concluded negotiations on Phase I of the tripartite free trade agreement, which includes the CDAA, the East African Community (EAC) and the East and South African Common Market (COMESA) in a free trade area. South Africa has signed numerous agreements with its trading partners in recent years. The country also benefits from a number of non-reciprocal trade agreements, including the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Generalized Preference System. DTI uses strong relationships between governments and mechanisms to promote a development agenda in Africa focused on identifying and implementing joint investment projects in partner countries; Promote trade between the two parties; coordination of technical cooperation and South Africa`s support for political and institutional development in partner countries; promote the development of cross-border infrastructure, particularly on the basis of the SDI methodology; promote regional integration by strengthening and consolidating the South African Customs Union (SACU) free trade agreement and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Free Trade Agreement; and negotiate investment protection and economic cooperation agreements.