THE NEW SOUTH Africa deserves full integration in the world economy, and trade restrictions left over from the apartheid regime must now be removed.
This was the mesage from CAFOD to European Commissioners who are due to discuss trade with South Africa in Brussels this week.
CAFOD called on the Commissioners to remove trade discrimination and criticised the European Union for failing to extend full trading relations to the postapartheid South Africa. According to CAFOD, EU partners have retained discrimination in trade with South Africa because they fear competition from S African porducts rather than on political grounds.
Speaking on the eve of a meeting of EU Commissioners, held this week, George Gelber, Head of Public Policy at CAFOD, said "Under apartheid, South Africa rightly faced international isolation while the European Commission was establishing preferential trade agreements with other developing countries.
"The new South Africa, however,' has inherited this legacy of trade discrimination which can only hamper its economic development and hold back progress," he said.
One of the key areas of discrimination, according to CAFOD, has been the failure of the EU to extend the full 100% agricultural GSP coverage which South Africa needs. This would open up access to world markets by reducing the cost of South Africa's exports.