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Inside Southern African Trade

Southern African Global Competitiveness Hub

Issue 2, September 2005

SARPN acknowledges the Southern African Global Competitiveness Hub as the source of this document.
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The SADC Heads of State and Government Silver Jubilee Summit concluded on August 11 in Gaborone, Botswana, with renewed commitment to establish a free trade area by 2008 and increase intra-regional trade over the next three years. The Summit also saw the entry of a new member to SADC, Madagascar.

Against this backdrop, and as we edge closer to the WTO Ministerial Meeting in Hong Kong in December, this issue is dedicated to the theme of multilateral and regional trade agreements.

We explore a number of topics under this theme, looking at the effectiveness of regional cooperation around issues such as surging Chinese textile exports, the end of EU sugar price support, cotton subsidies in the EU and US and the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU.

We speak to Sasara George, Botswana’s former Ambassador to the EU, to get his views on the topics covered in this issue. We discover that he has reservations about Madagascar’s entry into SADC, in contrast to Madagascar’s enthusiasm.

Although things appear to be moving rather slowly on the negotiations front, our focus on regional business successes and the optimism that exists around the regional business climate shows that there are increasing opportunities for businesses that are prepared to compete and grow.

To place regional developments in a global context, we also look at news from around the world and from inside the WTO.

We hope that you will enjoy this issue of INSAT and invite you to share your opinions and suggestions with us.

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