Leveraging Services: Trade Liberalisation for Enhanced Food Security in SADC

"The global food crisis of 2008 threw into sharp relief the problem of food security in many developing countries. In the case of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the food crisis served to highlight the decline in agricultural productivity over the years and the descent of some countries from net food exporters to net food importers. Although the reasons for such decline are many and varied, there are some elements that are trade policy-related. One of the often ignored trade policy factors is that of services trade liberalisation and the impact it can have on agricultural productivity, particularly the liberalisation of network and intermediate services such as finance, transport, communications and energy. Despite the fact that these services are often inefficient and excessively overpriced due to monopolies, there seems to be little appetite in the region for services trade liberalisation."