South Africa and the European Union said on Thursday that they will give priority to concluding the EU-Southern African Development Community Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.
The song of Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional integration is sung so loudly that even the deaf can hear it. But my recent experience in Windhoek, Namibia tends to prove that the reality on the ground does not match the rhetoric.
It is not certain that an African free trade area will further regional integration or deepen the existing inequality between countries.
Weariness surrounds the negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement regulating trade access between Southern Africa and the European Union.
A market access regulation giving SADC states, including Botswana, duty and quota-free access to the European Union is expected to elapse soon, potentially squeezing the affected states out of the world’s biggest market for beef, minerals, textiles and other products.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations are ongoing while efforts are at an advanced stage to consolidate and harmonise market access arrangements for the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), reported Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Tjekero Tweya in Parliament last Thursday.
At the Chirundu border, along the north-south transport corridor between Zimbabwe and Zambia, commercial trucks used to wait five days to get clearance. Now, they can get through in a matter of hours.
Non-tariff barriers (NTBs) are still the biggest stumbling block to countries raising current low levels of intra-regional trade.
It is referred to as the “Grand Free Trade Area” or the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, and true to its name it will be one of the largest free trade areas in the developing world when it becomes a reality. The 26-nation free trade area encompassing countries from Egypt to South Africa and three existing free trade blocs will be a very important platform for countries to engage and invest.
Negotiations for the establishment of a grand free trade area by three African regional economic communities are scheduled to start soon following the launching of the process by a Tripartite Summit that ended last week in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The planned creation of a 26-nation African Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) will draw industrial investment to South Africa by making it a springboard for low-duty access to other parts of the continent, trade and industry director general Lionel October said on Monday.
Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube says if negotiations for the Common Market for East and Southern Africa - East African Community - South African Development Corporation Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) are successfully completed, Zimbabwean goods and commodities will find greater markets on the continent.
On Sunday, heads of state and government from Africa’s three main regional blocs – the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community – will meet in South Africa to launch negotiations for a Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA).
A trade expert yesterday warned that vested interests and policy differences in the East Africa and Southern African region could derail a bid to create a free-trade agreement among 26 countries unless there was enough "political stomach for deeper (regional) integration".
Success of the grandiose Tripartite Free Trade Area will largely depend on how geared members of COMESA, EAC and SADC are to swiftly implementing agreements and trade protocols.
The Southern Africa Development Community and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa are currently in the process of liberalizing trade in services.
In the inaugural tripartite summit held in Kampala, Uganda in October 2008, our heads of state and government made a number of decisions, one of which was that the 26 countries that make up the COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite should speed up the process of integration as outlined in the Lagos plan of action and as articulated by the continental body of the African union commission.
China, South Africa’s leading trade partner which has been in the past focusing its investment interests in the country’s mining and manufacturing sectors will soon "diversify" to other economic sectors and industries promoting job creation in South Africa, the Chinese investment body revealed Thursday.
The first summit of the envisaged Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA) will be held in South Africa on June 12 where a specific roadmap and timetable for implementation of the expanded economic grouping will be announced.
With regional wheels rolling to put in place the envisaged grand tripartite free trade area (FTA), questions have arisen about whether it would be viable and increase competitiveness.