tralac Annual Conference 2010
tralac’s 2010 Annual Conference took place in Cape Town on 16-17 September. Our Conference this year followed a workshop focusing on the implications of the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations for the private sector, which tralac hosted in collaboration with the European Commission 13-15 September also in Cape Town.
During the workshop, EU and tralac experts, along with experts from government, academia and independent think tanks, discussed the state of play of EU-SADC EPA Group negotiations, including technical and outstanding issues, and the way forward.
The two-day tralac Annual Conference was opened with a welcome address by Trudi Hartzenberg. This was followed by three sessions with presentations and discussion on the following topics: a) SACU matters – SACU Quo Vadis?, and Legal and institutional development; b) Integrating East and Southern Africa: from Cape to Cairo – Trading in the region, Agricultural trade and agribusiness development, and Non-tariff barriers; c) Integrating the region continued… Rules of Origin, and A services and investment agenda?; and finally, d) Trade-related capacity building in the region: Building trade-related capacity, and Dispute Settlement in the Region: SADC Tribunal.
Day 2 of the Annual Conference opened with summary remarks and was followed by two sessions: e) SACU’s broader trade agenda – SADC 30 years on; South-South partnerships – China and India; and Northern Partners – European Union and United States of America; and f) Emerging Trade Topics and the Way Forward: Trade in natural resources: fuels, forestry, mining and fisheries; WTO Report 2010 – Implications for Africa.
These two events provided an opportunity to review the key items on the trade agenda for countries in East and Southern Africa, and reflected on the challenges associated with the development of trade related capacity to manage this trade agenda.