SA unveils plans to set up free trade area

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

South Africa is preparing to set up a Pan Regional Free Trade Area that will result in increased trade between 26 member states with a population of 580million people.

Foreign Affairs director-general Ayanda Ntsaluba revealed this at a media briefing yesterday.

The Pan Regional Free Trade Area's goal is to build a strong African market that will encourage more trade between countries of the continent, Ntsaluba said.

Announcing his department's annual report, Ntsaluba said President Kgalema Motlanthe was likely to return from his meeting in Kampala, Uganda, with an "in-principle agreement" to launch the free trade area.

Ntsaluba said Motlanthe would also have an indication of the time frames needed to establish the free trade area.