Title page for ETD etd-02232010-105510

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Kiala, Carine Zamay
Email ckiala@yahoo.com
URN etd-02232010-105510
Document Title The politics of trade in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) : prospect of a SACU-China free trade agreement
Degree Master of Arts
Department Political Sciences
Advisor Name Title
Prof M M E Schoeman Supervisor
  • Southern African Customs Union
  • SACU-China free trade agreement
  • SACU
Date 2009-09-01
Availability unrestricted

Considering the obstacles to the conclusion of the Doha Round of international trade negotiations, bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) are the new trend emerging in international relations. Hence, the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and China intend to negotiate such an agreement in order to promote trade and investment between their markets.

However, SACU is an organisation with a colonial legacy that continues to debilitate the economies of its weaker member states. Discrepancies in its administration and operation threaten the integrity of the customs union, especially when third parties are involved.

This study assesses the politics of trade in the Southern African Customs Union, and the prospect of a FTA with the Peopleís Republic of China. It explores the quantity and quality of trade between the parties, as well as the role of the state in encouraging economic diplomacy. The dissertation draws on the experiences of other developing countries that have signed FTAs with stronger economies, in order to provide policy recommendations that will steer sustainable trade relations between SACU and China that will be aligned to SACUís development agenda.

The study concludes that a FTA will stimulate a restructuring of SACUís trade partners, without creating a significant increase in production or employment. Furthermore, the cost competitiveness of Chinese imports will cripple the respective SACU industries, cause unemployment and negate prospects of new industrialisation in certain sectors of the economy. SACUís strategy for trade liberalisation should be incremental and sector specific.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Kiala, CZ 2009, The politics of trade in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) : prospect of a SACU-China free trade agreement, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02232010-105510/ >

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