As with other development cooperation agreements, decentralized cooperation is a key element of support, requiring significant civil society participation in the development process. Europe remains South Africa`s largest source of foreign direct investment and accounts for almost half of South Africa`s foreign trade. EU development aid for South Africa is mainly provided by the EU budget through the Development Cooperation Financing Instrument. For the period 2007-2013, the ICD has a budget of 980 million euros for South Africa. The TDCA establishes preferential trade agreements between the EU and South Africa, with the gradual introduction of a free trade area. The EU is South Africa`s main trading and investment partner. The free trade agreement aims to ensure south Africa has better access to the EU market and better access to the South African market. As a result, it plays an important role in South Africa`s integration into the global economy. The agreement covers about 90% of current bilateral trade between the two parties. Agreement on trade, development and cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, on the one hand, and the Republic of South Africa, on the other – Protocol 1 on the definition of `native products` and methods of administrative cooperation – Protocol 2 on mutual assistance in customs – Final Act (The agreement essentially covers five areas of cooperation , including political dialogue, development cooperation, trade and trade cooperation, economic cooperation and cooperation in other areas. Its main objective is to create a free trade area between South Africa and the EU over a 12-year period (i.e.
until 2012). On the basis of respect for democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law, the agreement maintains a regular political dialogue on issues of common interest both bilaterally and regionally (as part of the EU dialogue with southern African countries and with the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group. South Africa is now Europe`s 15th largest trading partner. Trade with the 15 EU-15 countries that signed the TDCA with its SA in 1999 increased significantly between 2000 and 2007. Total trade increased from R10 billion R140 billion in 2000 to R240 billion. Over the same period, exports increased from R66.1 billion to R6.1 billion to R6.1 billion, while imports increased from R180 billion to R180 billion. Bilateral trade between South Africa and the new EU Member States is also on the rise. Thus, overall trade with the new EU Member States increased by 234% between 2000 and 2004, from R1.53 billion to R5.11 billion, while it increased by 170% between 2004 and 2007 to reach 13.78 billion. South Africa and the EU can take safeguards when an imported product is likely to cause serious harm to domestic industry.