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Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Policy Brief: The Review of the SADC RISDP Matters

Trade Briefs

tralac Policy Brief: The Review of the SADC RISDP Matters

The increasing prominence and complexity of global value chains and the associated production, investment and trade relations have prompted new approaches to economic governance. Competitiveness hinges critically on the reduction of transaction costs, the integration of new generation issues into a trade strategy and facilitation of cross-border economic linkages. These developments also require new thinking about regional economic integration.

The on-going mid-term review of the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) avails the region an opportunity to develop a 21st century integration agenda for Southern Africa. This new thinking should embrace a competitiveness development agenda, which addresses practical constraints faced by the region as it seeks to interact with itself and the rest of the world.

The RISDP review is an opportunity to develop a 21st century integration agenda for southern Africa, which addresses practical issues related to the movement of goods, services, capital and labour as part of a competitiveness strategy. The imperative for rules-based governance of the regional integration process cannot be overemphasized. The suspension of the SADC Tribunal in September 2010 is widely viewed as a retrogressive step with major consequences for regional governance. The outcome of the mid-term review of the RISDP can only be relevant to the region if it deals with these issues as they remain critical in informing the regional integration process going forward.



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