Within the scope of the Project Support to SADC Regional Integration an Multilateral Trading System funded by the European Union, UNCTAD and the SADC Secretariat organized a Trade Negotiating Forum on Trade in Services.
The aim of the Project is to contribute to the beneficial integration of SADC countries into the multilateral trading system and to provide assistance to regional integration. SADC Member States have a mandate to negotiate an agreement in the area of trade in services in accordance with the Maseru Plan of Action.
Participants included officials from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, SADC (Southern African Development Community) and UNCTAD Secretariats.
The last Trade Negotiations Forum (TNF) in June 2007 adopted the SADC Protocol on Trade in Services.
This, the 10th TNF, looked again at the Protocol to: finalize the legal text and other technical issues; review the other elements of the project, such as the national assessment studies of trade in services; and consider the way forward.
The SADC Project in its current form will be concluded at the end of 2007. Continuation of the project is under consideration and UNCTAD has prepared a proposal for submission to possible donors through the SADC Secretariat.
SADC member countries have all expressed the importance of the project and its linkages with the wider objectives of SADC Members in the context of regional (SADC and EPA) and multilateral negotiations on trade in services.