The government of Botswana hosted the 6th Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) Heads of State Summit on 29 June. The Summit reaffirmed the importance of the regional integration agenda that promotes economic integration, industrialisation and economic diversification of the Sacu economies.
The Summit considered the Progress Report from the Council of Ministers on the implementation of the Work Programme for the Ministerial Task Teams on Trade and Industry and on Finance that was endorsed by the 5th Sacu Summit on 23 June 2017
The Summit’s Work Programme focused on: (i) the review and development of a suitable architecture for tariff-setting, rebates, duty drawbacks and trade remedies; (ii) strengthening existing cooperation and collaboration on Trade Facilitation to improve border efficiencies; (iii) a review of the Revenue Sharing Formula and the long-term management of the Common Revenue Pool; (iv) addressing volatility in the revenue shares and exploring the feasibility of a financing mechanism for regional industrialisation; and (v) the development of public policy interventions to promote industrial development and value chains.
The Summit also took account of the developments and progress on the Sacu Trade Agenda, covering the on-going trade negotiations in which Sacu is involved. Furthermore, it reaffirmed the strategic importance of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement to promote inter-Africa trade and development, in line with the Abuja Treaty. Concern was also expressed at the global developments on trade including the rise in unilateralism and reaffirmed the centrality of the rules-based multilateral trading system as embodied in the WTO. The importance of development in the WTO’s work programme with a view to promoting inclusive growth was reaffirmed.