The duration of the agreement is not fixed, but can be amended within five years of its entry into force to consider possible changes. Mr DTI informed the Committee that the SA/EU Agreement on Trade Development and Cooperation (TDCA) was a strategic trade and investment partnership, mainly for the benefit of SA. Improved market access in this high-income market has been very good for SA`s integration into the global economy, given that about 40% of SA`s trade has been concluded with the EU. Among its main features were its asymmetrical nature and the privileged base enjoyed by South Africa. T The multi-year indicative programme of cooperation with South Africa for 2014-2020 focuses on three areas: members asked whether the agreement covered 90% of SA`s trade with the EU, which included the remaining 10%. The DTI was asked about the impact of the refugee situation in the EU on the political climate. Concerns have been expressed about how to strike a balance between imports of goods from the EU and the simultaneous protection of south African products produced locally. It was feared that the importation of cheaper industrial products from the EU would destroy local industries. Members asked how cooperatives could be brought into the agricultural space; and whether there were incentives for Croatia`s import and export duties. If there were incentives, what are these types of incentives? Were there any tax breaks on both sides of the agreement? Has DTI encouraged South African companies? MEPs feared that the Croatian government would subsidize Croatian exports to SA. If this were the case, cheaper Croatian products would flood the South African market.
There was reason to fear that this would have a negative effect on SA`s domestic markets. Members felt that the information was not specific on the opportunities and challenges associated with the agreement. DTI was asked to provide members with figures on the benefits of the agreement for its SA. Information on national and international benefits and challenges was needed. MEPs asked for details on the value of car exports to the EU. The DTI was also asked about the value of provincial exports to the EU. The Committee asked the DTI to provide it with a complete list of all exports to the EU. Since the EU and South Africa concluded a Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in 1999, the two sides have maintained strong and growing trade relations.