TRADE POLICY REVIEW:
Deeper integration is necessary for more balanced development
Since the previous review in 2003, SACU members (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland), have collectively expanded at an average annual rate of about 4% in real terms, although this GDP growth has been somewhat erratic mainly reflecting infrastructure and other constraints, according to a WTO Secretariat report on the trade policies and practices of SACU.
The WTO report, along with a policy statement by the Government, will be the basis for the Trade Policy Review (TPR) by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO.
The five member states of this Customs Union continue to show substantial differences in levels of economic development and, so far, the only trade policy instruments harmonized are the applied customs tariff, excise duties, duty rebates, refunds and drawbacks, customs valuation, non-preferential rules of origin, and contingency trade remedies.
The report notes that the complete implementation of the 2002 SACU Agreement, which entered into force in July 2004, would result in further harmonization of policies, deeper economic integration and more balanced development that now seem elusive.
While noting that South African economy, the biggest and most advanced of the Union, remains relatively diversified, the report also says that the principal policy imperative faced by the other SACU countries remains diversification away from the current key export products (diamonds and other minerals in Botswana and Namibia, textiles in Lesotho and sugar in Swaziland).
The report, along with policy statements by the Governments of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), will be the basis for the third Trade Policy Review (TPR) of SACU by the Trade Policy Review Body of the WTO on 4 and 6 November 2009.
The following documents are available in MS Word format.
- Secretariat report
> Contents and summary observations
> Annex 1 — Botswana
> Annex 2 — Kingdom of Lesotho
> Annex 3 — Namibia
> Annex 4 — South Africa
> Annex 5 — Kingdom of Swaziland
- Government report
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
Niger/Senegal: 11 and 13 November 2009
Georgia: 8 and 10 December 2009
Croatia: 16 and 18 December 2009