02 Jul 2018 10:10am
WINDHOEK, 02 JUL (NAMPA) The five member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) have vowed to commit the necessary human and financial resources needed to complete its work programme.
This was said by Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi during the closing ceremony of the 6th summit of the SACU Heads of State and Government held in Gaborone recently.
Masisi, who is the SACU chair, noted with appreciation, the progress made on the implementation of the work programme, his speech availed by SACU shows.
Despite the progress made, more work is required in areas such as revenue and development of a suitable architecture for tariff-setting, rebates, duty drawbacks and trade remedies, he added.
We have also committed ourselves to availing the necessary human and financial resources to facilitate the conclusion of this process, Masisi promised.
In addition, the gathering noted that the implementation of the work programme needs to entail extensive national consultations to ensure an inclusive and comprehensive engagement with relevant stakeholders.
To this effect, the completion date of the programme has been extended by 12 months from December 2018 to December 2019.
The SACU work programmes overall objective is to contribute to the development of a sustainable and improved economy in SACU with regard to trade, security and social protection through development of customs authorities as fair and effective trade management partners, as well as modern social protection and revenue collection services.
The two-day summit further reaffirmed the importance of the regional integration agenda that promotes economic integration, industrialisation and diversification of SACU economies, a separate statement issued by SACU shows.
Furthermore, the Heads of State noted with concern the global developments on trade, particularly the rise in unilateralism, reaffirming the centrality of the rules based on multilateral trading as embodied in the World Trade Organisation.
Apart from Masisi, the summit was attended by King Mswati III of the Kingdom of Eswatini, President Hage Geingob of Namibia, South Africas Cyril Ramaphosa and Thomas Thabane, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Masisi will be replaced as SACU chair by Thabane on 15 July 2018.
Please be assured of my availability to assist and support you in your role in facilitating the full implementation of the SACU work programme, Masisi told Thabane.
SACU is a customs union among five countries of Southern Africa; Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland.