Trade agreements between nations in the 21st century rest ultimately, as they always have, on national economic and political self interest. In recent public discussions regarding the negotiation of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) with the European Union there has been considerable recrimination about who has been responsible for the signing and the subsequent division of the South African Development Community (SADC) negotiating group (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland). However, there have been few attempts to understand what are the interests of the respective parties. This BIDPA Brief will consider primarily the commercial considerations in the signing of the IEPA on the 4th June 2009 in Brussels, but these inevitably overlap with Botswana’s sovereign political interests. While the Brief considers the positions of other parties it aims to analyze the negotiations from the perspective of Botswana’s interests.