GABORONE, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Southern African Development Community (SADC) has applauded the bloc's Free Trade Area (FTA) initiative launched in August 2008.
Calicious Tutalife, the acting director for Industrial Development and Trade Directorate at SADC on Wednesday said intra-regional trade has relatively increased following the implementation of the SADC FTA.
"However, there is also recognition that dismantling tariffs alone is not enough to raise regional trade growth in a sustainable manner," said Tutalife in Gaborone at the launch of the Botswana Trade Related Facility (TRF) project funded by the European Union (EU).
Tutalife said there is need to address barriers to competitive and diversified industrial development of the region's constituent economies.
In 2015, SADC adopted a regional strategy, prioritizing a regional value-chain approach to industrialization.
In addition, member states have also committed themselves to effectively implementing measures to comply with their commitments under the SADC Protocol on Trade, in addressing non-tariff barriers, technical barriers to trade such as sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) measures and technical barriers to trade.
Meanwhile the SADC TRF program is now one of the possible approaches taken to address the non-tariff and technical barriers bottlenecks.
TRF is to promote regional and international trade by addressing critical challenges confronting the member states in their search for growth and sustainable development.