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Ten Year Presidential Review: Review of Trade and Investment Negotiations


Trudi Hartzenberg, Trade Law Centre,

June 2003

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Objectives of Review and Methodology

This review of trade and investment negotiations forms part of the overall Ten Year Presidential Review conducted under the auspices of the President's Office.

The terms of reference are as follows:

Main Objective A descriptive and prescriptive study of the DTI's role in trade and investment negotiations since 1994, and lessons for the future.
Research Questions An appraisal of the DTI's role in trade and investment negotiations (bilaterally and within multilateral structures - SADC, SACU, WTO etc)

An analysis of such issues as capacity, skills, problems, lessons etc for upcoming trade negotiations with Mercosur, China, India and the SACU-US negotiations.
Methodology A qualitative study based on primary and secondary sources and aided by selective interviews.

Following the terms of reference provided by the President's Office, the following methodology has specifically been adopted.

First, a desk study was conducted to independently determine the scope of DTI' role in trade and investment negotiations since 1994, both in terms of substantive focus of the negotiations and also in terms of with whom the negotiations were conducted. The desk study also ascertained, as far as possible, the negotiations that have been concluded by DTI since 1994, and the status of those negotiations still in process.

Second, the concluded agreements were perused to determine the specific outcomes of the negotiations. This provides important input to the assessment of 'capacity, skills, problems and lessons' for future negotiations, as required by the terms of reference.

Third, interviews were held with DTI representatives involved in the trade and investment negotiations, and select other DTI representatives, as well as representatives outside DTI involved in negotiations. As a first step in the identification of relevant interviewees, Tshediso Matona, Deputy, Director General was contacted. He suggested a list of interviewees, all of whom were interviewed. This process took longer than anticipated as a result of the negotiating demands currently being addressed by these individuals.1 Once all interviews had been conducted, a final interview with Tshediso Matona was conducted to situate some of the information gathered from previous interviews.

  1. For example, the SACU Trade Policy Review, of the WTO, required the presence of key negotiators in Geneva towards the end of April 2003; the negotiations for the SACU-US free trade agreement began in May 2003. These two examples indicate that multiple negotiations are being conducted simultaneously; placing significant demands on key negotiators, especially in DTI, but also in other Government Departments such as the sector Departments eg Agriculture.

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