Busa urges SADC to focus on free trade

BUSINESS Unity South Africa has urged trade ministers of the Southern African Development Community to address the outstanding issues impeding the full implementation of the SADC free trade area.

BUSINESS Unity South Africa has urged trade ministers of the Southern African Development Community to address the outstanding issues impeding the full implementation of the SADC free trade area.

"Business in the region welcomed the launch of the FTA in 2008," explained Jerry Vilakazi, chief executive officer of Busa.

"We believe the FTA is an important initiative for deepening economic integration and growth in Southern Africa."

The trade ministers of SADC met in Cape Town on Friday.

Busa members have identified difficulties in accessing information on the tariffs applied by SADC countries and have proposed the establishment and maintenance of a database for the region.

South African business calls on SADC trade ministers to work with Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo to ensure that they are able to fully participate in the FTA.

Busa also requested that urgent steps be taken to achieve the implementation of existing commitments by SADC FTA participants, especially Malawi and Zimbabwe.

South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said last week after a meeting with Busa that government would like to promote deeper integration in Southern Africa and is thus critical of approaches from outside that could have the opposite effect.- I-Net Bridge

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