WINDHOEK - Industrialisation remains a main focus area for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and through industrialisation the region aims to attain accelerated and sustainable industrial development. According to SADC goals, the region aims to increase the share of manufacturing value addition in gross domestic products to 20 percent by 2020 and further to 40 percent by 2050.
“We remain with one year to 2020, and we have a lot to do to catch up. For this to be realised, the region has to remain focused and committed to the implementation of the SADC industrialisation agenda by paying attention to all industrialisation strategy pillars, namely, industrialisation, regional integration, competitiveness and the cross-cutting pillar, which outlines a number of complementary interventions that are supposed to be implemented coherently,” said SADC Executive Secretary, Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax.
Speaking in Windhoek on Friday during the 31st meetings of the Committee of Ministers responsible for Trade and the 20th Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration, Tax noted that during the year progress has been made in identifying and developing value chains and encouraged SADC member states to implement the value chains speedily.
“It should, however, be appreciated that value chains can only be effectively implemented and realised if the supporting infrastructure, enabling legal environment and necessary skills are in place, and barriers to trade and policy bottlenecks are addressed. All these are embedded in the four pillars of SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063,” said Tax.
Commenting on regional market integration, Tax said progress continues to be made towards implementation and consolidation of the SADC Free Trade Area and the continental Free Trade Area.
“Nonetheless, concern remains on the slow pace in the finalisation of exchange of offers, and the ratification of the COMESA-EACSADC Free Trade Area, especially in light of the progress being made under the Africa Continental Free Tree Area. It is my appeal to member states to finalise tariff negotiations and ratification processes for the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA) for the region to reap the benefits of the continental free trade area.
Non-tariff barriers also continue to pose a serious challenge to both intra-and inter-regional trade. Although progress has been made, there is need to intensify efforts to eliminate all forms of trade barriers in our region, if we are to sustain the realised gains,” Tax stated.
Tax continued that SADC’s regional integration agenda cannot be realised without the necessary supporting technical infrastructure and tools, to ensure productivity, seamless trade and to protect both the environment and consumers.
“During the year, the region has adopted ten regionally harmonised standards texts. The SADC Accreditation Service has so far increased the number of internationally accredited schemes to four, which include calibration, testing, medical testing and inspection. There is need, therefore, for member states to allocate resources for the maintenance of such international recognition, especially in light of the region’s aspirations to industrialise,” Tax added.
2019-06-17 12:16:12 3 months ago