Achievements, Challenges and Constraints of Trade Integration in SADC

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Significant steps towards trade integration have been taken by the Southern African Development Community and a comprehensive approach has been adopted to address challenges related to regional production networks, infrastructure and competitiveness. The recent conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement is also an encouraging sign of efforts made to improve its trade with a major trading partner. Despite the increased openness of SADC economies and the commitments to harmonize standards and rules between Member States, barriers to regional trade and investment remain high. In this regard, the costs generated by non-tariff barriers, the embryonic state of trade in services, the weak enforcement of the existing agreements, the lack of coherence of the numerous overlapping regional trade agreements in force, and the limited involvement of the private sector have, amongst other, contributed to the relatively low level of intra-SADC trade.

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