SADC Invites Stakeholders to its Services Committee
The Secretariat of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) launched the first Sector Focus Group (SFG) – Business Services meeting from 9 – 11th May 2022. The SFG comprised of Member States’ representatives from Ministries of Trade as well as regional and national policy, regulatory and private sector stakeholders from professional services; computer and related or information technology (IT) services; research and development services; real estate services; rental/leasing services; and other business services. EFSA was invited as part of the ICT sector, although, as we pointed out, ecommerce is much wider than ICT. We were invited to present a paper on ecommerce’s interests. We were also asked to propose any companies involved in the last mile delivery (apart from couriers). If any reader delivers cross-frontier last mile or knows companies that do, please let me know ([email protected]).
SADC has been going through different sectors over an extended period. It has already dealt with most goods, and some services, including courier services. The aim is to ease trade between the 16 member states. SADC (unlike the AfCFTA) is a customs union. In other words, the same rules in terms of customs procedures should apply across the community and both barriers to trade (e.g., tariffs) and non-tariff barriers (e.g., using discriminatory rules on foreign producers) should be progressively removed. Member states may apply for a waiver if it is unwilling to allow the free flow of certain goods or services. Inevitably some professional services fall into this category when national professional service associations require specific qualifications (e.g., doctors, lawyers, auditors, etc).
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