WTO Doha Development Round of Negotiations
All SACU Member States are members of the WTO. As such, they participate in the activities of this organization, including the Doha Development Round of Negotiations. When the WTO Director-General suspended these negotiations towards the middle of 2006, SACU Member States were part of the group of developing countries that actively lobbied for the resumption of these negotiations, which eventually restarted in January 2007. SACU also started a process that would lead to the notification of the Customs Union to the WTO. This will ensure a better understanding of SACU as a region amongst WTO members, giving SACU a legal standing and improve coordination amongst SACU Member States on positions on issues discussed at the WTO and in the negotiations.
SADC – EPA Negotiations
As part of the built-in agenda of the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, a commitment was made to conclude EPAs aimed at developing a trade relationship based on reciprocity in accordance with WTO obligations. Specific negotiating configurations were formed, based on regional affiliations. All five SACU Member States are members of the SADC configuration, albeit that South Africa only participated as an observer. This came as a result of the country’s special relation with the European Union in terms of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA). The other three countries included in this configuration are Angola, Tanzania and Mozambique. In March 2006, SADC tabled a framework proposal outlining its vision of a SADC-EU EPA, which addresses the following issues:
The European Community took note of this position and started an internal consultative process aimed at providing a new mandate to its negotiators that would address SADC’s proposal.
- Inclusion of South Africa into the SADC EPA as a full member.
- Non-reciprocity for non-SACU LDC’s (Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania).
- Trade-related rules (new generation issues) where SADC does not foresee any binding commitments to be included in the EPA.