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.
The position taken by Namibia with regard to the signing of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is commendable and should be a guiding principle for further negotiating trade agreements between Africa and the rest of the world.
Negotiations for a new economic partnership agreement (EPA) between SADC members and the European Union appear to have been shelved with no fixed date for resumption of the protracted trade negotiations.
Before mid-year South Africa would host the next summit on the establishment of a Trilateral Free Trade Agreement (T-FTA) among the regional economic groupings of the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Negotiations for a tripartite free trade area (FTA), which would include 26 East and Southern African member states, were expected to begin by mid-year, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Tuesday.
Implementation challenges and barriers to trade liberalization currently dogging SADC’s Free Trade Area (FTA) will continue to haunt member states in the implementation of an ambitious grand FTA encompassing COMESA, EAC and SADC.