Southern Africa: SACU Focusses On Free Trade Opportunities

The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Secretariat, in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will host an information sharing workshop on the AfCFTA and a regional dialogue on emerging market opportunities for the SACU region. This initiative follows collaboration between the AfCFTA Secretariat and the Team Europe Technical Assistance Facility (EU-TAF) to support the AfCFTA and Continental Economic Integration.

The two-day event is scheduled to take place on 1 and 2 June 2023 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event aims to disseminate information to relevant stakeholders within the SACU region, thereby creating synergies for the effective implementation of the AfCFTA. The outcomes of this seminar will also be used as insight for the ongoing work of sensitising the business community on the trade agreements concluded by SACU.

SACU regards the AfCFTA as a strategic continental instrument; hence, the implementation and leveraging of the AfCFTA has been prioritised as one of the pillars that underpin the recently approved SACU Strategic Plan for 2022-2027.

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According to a statement, SACU aims to position itself to take full advantage of the AfCFTA through industrialisation, the development of regional value chains, export promotion and investment attraction and promotion.

The primary objectives of the workshop include support for SACU member states’ efforts in publicising and creating awareness about the implementation of the AfCFTA.