Personalities and pressures shaping SA's EU negotiations

"The next round of the SA-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) talks will be held from 16 - 18 September in Brussels. This will be the twentieth round of talks in these protracted negotiations. Some analysts feel that unless agreement is reached by mid-October, the FTA will not materialise. Who are the personalities that shape these negotiations and what are their options? International trade negotiations are often shaped as much by government policy as by the personalities of those involved in the technical discussions. South Africa's negotiations with the European Union (EU) over a Free Trade Agreement have been in progress since 1994. The negative sentiments that have recently emerged from negotiators on the prospect of reaching an agreement have led to questions about the role and abilities of the SA team."