What are the Critical Issues Arising from the SADC Trade Integration Process?

"There is a need for convergent bilateral and multilateral trading arrangements in SADC so as to avoid trade deflection and diversion as well as to ensure ease of administration. There is also a need to arrive at an appropriate institutional framework to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the potential trade protocol. The growth in intra-regional trade over the last few years seems to suggest that tariff reduction and general trade liberalisation are starting to positively impact intra-regional trade flows of some SADC countries, particularly those economies with a capacity to compete in regional markets. A critical challenge facing the region is the need to attract both domestic and foreign investment to raise export competitiveness, which requires a credible trade integration process. In order for the trade integration process to be perceived as credible by investors, the following needs to occur: A move towards some form of trade policy harmonisation and convergence, underpinned by institutional strengths political stability, greater co-ordination stability and predictability of macro-economic policies."