Trade Hub Assists in DRC Accession to the SADC Protocol on Trade
The SADC Protocol on Trade provided for the attainment of a Free Trade Area (FTA) in 2008 through the elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) to trade. Of the 15 SADC Member States, 12 are currently participating in the FTA with Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Seychelles yet to accede to the SADC Protocol on Trade.
In conjunction with a request from the DRC, SATH undertook a mission to consult with key stakeholders on the possibility of the DRC acceding to the SADC Protocol on Trade. This visit would be the first in a process that would see the implementation of training programs and development of a roadmap for DRC accession.
The SATH team met with public and private stakeholders in a number of organizations including: the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, Customs, the National Agency for Investment Promotion (ANAPI), Standards Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture, Federation of DRC industries and the Ministry of Transport. There was a great diversity of views across the organizations, which reflect the initiatives which the DRC is currently exploring, including participation in the SADC Protocol on Trade, the COMESA FTA and Customs Union, and the Tripartite FTA initiative.
Based on the results of the mission, the SATH team will undertake an economic analysis of DRC acceding to the SADC FTA. The final report will be presented to stakeholders at workshops scheduled for October and will inform the DRCs decision on accession to the SADC FTA.