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PRESS RELEASE: PRESS/TPRB/213
25 April 2003

TRADE POLICY REVIEW: SOUTHERN AFRICAN CUSTOMS UNION
Continued economic reforms would attract more foreign investment

The WTO report, along with the policy statement of the Governments of the Southern African Customs Union, will serve as a basis for the second Trade Policy Review (TPR) of SACU by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 23 and 25 April 2003.

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A report on the trade policies and practices of the Southern African Customs Union (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), was released on 25 April by the WTO Secretariat. The report says that the since the last Review of their trade policies in 1998, SACU countries have continued their economic reform programmes, where trade and investment liberalization have played key roles. However, simplification of the tariff structure is needed the report indicates.

SACU is the oldest customs union in the world. A re-negotiation of the SACU Agreement was concluded in 2002, but it still has to be ratified by all parties. The 2002 SACU Agreement, the report also says, provides for a more democratic institutional structure; a dispute settlement mechanism; the requirement to have common policies on industrial development, agriculture, competition, and unfair trade practices; and a new system regarding the common revenue pool and sharing formula. It is hoped that, once in force, the new SACU Agreement, combined with multilateral trade liberalization and outward-orientation, will help SACU countries to foster their integration into the world economy.

The following documents are available in MS Word format.

  

Note  back to top

Trade Policy Reviews are an exercise, mandated in the WTO agreements, in which member countries’ trade and related policies are examined and evaluated at regular intervals. Significant developments that may have an impact on the global trading system are also monitored. For each review, two documents are prepared: a policy statement by the government of the member under review, and a detailed report written independently by the WTO Secretariat. These two documents are then discussed by the WTO’s full membership in the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB). These documents and the proceedings of the TPRB’s meetings are published shortly afterwards.

Print copies of previous TPR publications are available for sale from the WTO Secretariat, Centre William Rappard, 154 rue de Lausanne, 1211 Genève 21 and through the on-line bookshop.

The TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.

 

Schedule of forthcoming reviews  back to top

New Zealand: 12, 14 May 2003
Morocco: 16, 18 June 2003

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  SEE ALSO 
 
>  Full list of previous TPRs

> Programme of reviews for 2003 (MS Word format)

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