Angola’s minister for trade, Rosa Pacavira said Saturday in Luanda that Angola may only join the SADC Free Trade Zone only in 2017.
The minister said that joining the Free Trade Zone would only happen when Angola had finished its membership road map, which is currently being drawn up, but noted that Angola’s entry “remains on the government’s agenda as part of its regional integration policy.”
“We are drawing up a road map and we will see if, by 2017, Angola manages to join the Free Trade Zone, but for that we will have to create industry and internal capacity so that Angola can compete with other countries that are already part of the zone,” said Pacavira.
“If we open up the market now we will stop producing a lot of things that we need to produce, because if Angola joins up now we will have the whole of the SADC selling products here and we will not be producing them,” she said.
The SADC Free Trade Area was set up in Johannesburg in August 2007, at the 28th SADC summit, and currently includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. The SADC countries that did not join are Angola, the democratic Republic of Congo and the Seychelles. (macauhub)