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    An important objective for each Member State of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is to achieve sustained Economic Growth and Sustainable Development so that people in the region have better living standards and employment opportunities.

    Since its inception in 1980 (as SADCC), SADC has formulated policies and strategies for Regional Integration in support of economic growth and development. The economic benefits expected from Regional Integration, as shown elsewhere around the world, include increased market size, improved intra-regional trade and investment flows, and increased transfer of technology and experience.

    The Directorate of Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment was established to facilitate and co-ordinate the key economic integration areas covered by SADC. Clear regional integration guidelines and priorities are found in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2003). SADC has also developed a Protocol on Trade (1996), Protocol on Finance and Investment (2006) and the draft Protocol on Trade in Services (2012).

    Through the establishment of a SADC Common Market, the overall goal of economic development and regional integration is to facilitate trade and financial liberalisation, to establish competitive and diversified industrial development, to increase investment, and eradicate poverty.


    To achieve this goal, SADC has identified the following specific Objectives:

    • Market integration;
    • Macro-economic convergence;
    • Strengthening of financial and capital markets;
    • Attainment of deeper monetary cooperation;
    • Increasing levels of investment; and
    • Enhance SADC competitiveness.

    Through the Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment Directorate, SADC identified a group of related sectors as key priority areas. SADC addresses its goal and objectives through work in each of these sectors.

    • Trade in Goods

      The removal of trade barriers plays a vital role in intra-regional trade and development. The SADC Trade Protocol (as amended) was the basis of the establishment of a Free Trade Area in the region and through the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan, it was envisaged SADC will attain a Free Trade Area by 2008.

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    • Trade in Services

      The services sector in the SADC region is characterised by moderate investment, comparatively high cost and limited access to services by the general public. The signing of Protocol on Trade in Services by SADC Heads of State in August 2012 provides for a mandate to progressively negotiate removal of barriers to the free movement of services.

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    • Industry

      Balanced and mutually beneficial industrialisation in the region depends on the promotion of industrial linkages and efficient use of regional resources to create productive employment opportunities across the region.

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    • Finance

      The convergence of monetary and physical policies promotes regional macroeconomic stability. The Protocol on Finance and Investment includes the co-ordination of taxes and resource mobilisation to achieve macro-economic convergence. 

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    • Investment

      Co-operation on investment makes it easier to invest across borders and makes the region more attractive for foreign direct investment. SADC Member States are committed to co-ordinate their investment regimes and to co-operate to create a favourable investment climate throughout the SADC region

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    • Macro-Economic Convergence

      Macroeconomic convergence stabilises the regional economy, safeguarding it from excessive fluctuations due to external factors.

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    • Private Sector

      SADC  recognises the important contribution of the Private Sector in the region. As SADC Member States liberalise their economies, the private sector will grow in importance for the economy and for society as a whole.

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    Relevant Documentation

    SADC Policy and Analysis Programme

    The Global Economic and Financial Crisis Measures at SADC Regional Level- English / French Portuguese

    Responsible Directorate

    Information Services