Angola: SADC free trade area to be set up this year

29 February 2008

Luanda, Angola, 29 Feb – The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is this year expected to implement its free trade area, the regional bloc’s consultant Gideon Phiri, of Botswana said Thursday in Luanda.

Speaking to the press, on the sidelines of a training session on the “History of the SADC” Phiri said that the organization’s free trade area would be set up based on the Trade Protocol created in 2000 and which is currently underway in some member states.

According to Phiri, with the application of the Trade Protocol community trade had increased considerably and greater efforts had been seen in the integration of the energy, water and transport sectors, as well is in the search for development funding.

“In order to balance out inequalities and for the success of the common market, the SADC plans to have countries with lower levels of development – like Mozambique – exporting its goods at zero percent tax, whilst more highly developed countries, such as South Africa, would not be able to benefit from tax exemption for a few years, in order to have greater balance between the economies,” the consultant said.

The SADC was set up in 1992 and currently has Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe as its members. (macauhub)