The 16th Meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration approved the Trade Facilitation Programme over the weekend at Gaborone International Convention Centre Gaborone.
The main objective of the meeting was to give progress made in the development of a costed Action Plan for the Industrialisation Strategy and Road Map 2015-2063 approved in Harare on April 29th 2015. This costed Action Plan is considered crucial in effectively driving industrialisation in the SADC region.
The trade facilitation programme will among others address impediments to movements of goods across the region, covering but not limited to, accession to and implementation of the World Customs Organisation’s Revised Kyoto Convention, which is a benchmark for mentioned Customs laws and procedures; data exchange and interconnectivity amongst customs administrations and improvements to infrastructure at selected major border posts.
According to Kenneth Matambo, the minister of finance and development planning, “The region also continues to pursue the implementation of the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan, adopted in 2012, which outlines and identifies the priority infrastructure projects to facilitate regional integration and trade”.
In his welcome and opening remarks, Botswana’s Minister of Trade and Industry and Chairperson of the SADC Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration, Vincent Seretse said, “the strategy sets out a pathway for the SADC region to rise up and increase its contribution to global trade. Its significance requires visionary leadership, and compels us to remain seized with the process to ensure implementation for results”.