SADC Ministers of Trade approve Trade Facilitation Programme
The 16th Meeting of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration took place on Sunday, 13 March 2016 in Gaborone.
The main objective of the meeting was to receive progress made in the development of a costed Action Plan for the pdf Industrialization Strategy and Road Map 2015-2063 (2.34 MB) approved in Harare on 29 April 2015. This costed Action Plan is crucial in order to effectively drive Industrialization in the SADC region. The meeting took note of the progress made and directed the Secretariat to finalize and submit in August for approval.
Delivering his welcome and opening remarks, the Minister of Trade and Industry of Botswana and Chairperson of the SADC Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration, Hon. Vincent Seretse reminded the Delegates on the purpose and importance of adopting the Strategy in 2015 and added: “The strategy sets out a pathway for the SADC region to rise up and increase its contribution to global trade. Its significance requires visionary leadership, and compels us to remain seized with the process to ensure implementation for results.”
The meeting also approved the Trade Facilitation Programme which is one of the targeted outputs in the Revised Regional Indicative Strategic Plan (RISDP). In her remarks, SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena L. Tax indicated that this programme has identified trade facilitation activities that are essential in facilitating easy movement of goods, while reducing the cost of doing business in the region.
The programme will among others address the impediments to movements of goods across the region, covering but not limited, to the following:
Accession to and implementation of the World Customs Organization’s Revised Kyoto Convention, which is a benchmark for mentioned Customs laws and procedures;
Data exchange and interconnectivity amongst customs administrations;
Implementation of the electronic certificate of origin in SADC; and
Improvements to infrastructure at selected major border posts.