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.
following documents are available in MS Word format.
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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.
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
TPR publications are also available from our co-publisher Bernan Press, 4611-F Assembly Drive, Lanham, MD 20706-4391, United States.
of forthcoming reviews back to top
New Zealand: 12, 14 May 2003
Morocco: 16, 18 June 2003