Regional Industrial Development Policy
The aim of the regional industrialisation programme is to contribute to the promotion of economic growth and development. As part of the programme, Member States have agreed to develop a regional industrial development policy. In addition, Member States have identified a number of key priority sectors that will form the basis for cross-border collaboration, among them agro-processing sector.
The focus on industrialization is aimed at ensuring economic development across all Member States and creating a conducive environment for investment and industrial development. Regional Industrialisation is expected to lead to growth of the region's industrial base, creation of employment opportunities for the people of the region, and establishment of sectoral complementarities in production, as well as backward and forward linkages that promote further industrial development.
The value of a regional industrial policy resides in its potential to further integrate regional markets and advance economic development. A regional industrial policy can further strengthen regional partnerships and cooperation. Cooperation in industrial development at a regional level will stimulate investments in new industries and strengthening of existing ones into competitive industries, in order to increase their participation in global trade, by developing both production (high value-added activities) and trade-related capacities. Key areas for possible cooperation could include inter alia, mineral beneficiation, support to infant industries, agro-processing, and cross-border value chains development.