SADC Free Trade Area Launched

Independence, security, regional solidarity and the fight against apartheid were the original motives for the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Today SADC's main goals are to form common political interests and support greater trade and investment flows between members. The SADC Free Trade Area (FTA) is key to achieving these goals. By August 2008, twelve (12) of the fourteen (14) SADC Member States will have established an FTA. The SADC FTA creates a regional market worth US$360 billion with a total population of 170 million and includes economies growing by up to 7% a year. Angola and Congo DR are set to join the FTA adding a further US$71 billion and 77 million people to the SADC market.  

Implementation of the SADC FTA began in 2000 following the signing of the SADC Trade Protocol (in 1996). The liberilisation of tarrifs has taken place at different rates. In general the developed countries have reduced tariffs at a faster rate. South Africa, Botswana and Namibia removed most tariffs in 2000. Middle income countries such as Mauritius have gradually reduced their tariffs each year between 2000 and 2008. For least developed countries such as Mozambique and Zambia tariff reductions have generally been introduced during 2007-2008. Angola and DR Congo will be joining the FTA in the near future. Read more

SADC Secretariat