Regional NTM Integration Review

For developing countries, it is challenging to design a non-tariff measure (NTM) regime on the national and regional level that provides an adequate degree of consumer protection and is supportive for the development and regional integration process. With the increasing relevance of regional and global value chains, an efficient NTM regime on imported inputs for domestic processing and export is a key driver to enhance competitiveness.


This is why UNCTAD supports SADC in their ambitions for deeper regional integration, in a project funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Partnering with local experts, UNCTAD assessed the current status of integration, political processes and legal as well as institutional stumbling blocks in the SADC region.

Furthermore recognizing the member-driven nature of SADC, further research focussed on fostering political will through a bottom-up approach.

For this purpose, quantitative and qualitative methodologies were developed to evaluate the potential economic benefits from realizing NTM-related deep integration.

While sufficient NTM data for the region has not yet been collected, projections with other existing data led to indicative results.  Harmonizing SPS and TBT to international standards and reducing other restrictions for regional partners is likely to increase GDP by 1-3% in most member States.  Employment is even estimated to go up by 2-5%, depending on the member State.

The project culminated in a workshop where regional stakeholders discussed the analyses and a way forward.

The insights gained fed into an advisory report by the SADC Secretariat to the Committee of Ministers Responsible for Trade.

Furthermore, close cooperation and capacity building was agreed for the NTM data collection which is taking place in the Tripartite (SADC-COMESA-EAC) in partnership with UNCTAD and the African Development Bank.


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