Trade Liberalization, Competition and the WTO

Trade Liberalization, Competition and the WTO

Edited by Chris Milner and Robert Read

The prospective WTO Millennium Round of negotiations will highlight critical economic issues regarding the application and implementation of the WTO rules to international trade in goods and services. In this book, a distinguished group of academic experts considers the agenda and areas of interest for the next Round in light of Seattle, the functions of the WTO and competition policy issues arising from trade liberalization.

Chapter 5: Options for Regional Integration in Southern Africa

David Evans

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics


David Evans* The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) and its successor, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), had strong anti-apartheid political orientations. Initially, economic cooperation was based on a sectoral approach. The Windhoek Treaty of 1992 changed the basis of economic cooperation to allow for ‘efficiency, economy and competitiveness’. This shift led to the 1996 SADC Protocol on Trade Cooperation for the creation of a free trade area (FTA) which is now almost complete. Successful regional associations usually require a strong political rationale for economic benefits to be realized.1 It remains to be seen whether or not the original unifying anti-apartheid politics in Southern Africa are strong enough in the post-apartheid era to enable SADC to build the institutions necessary for rules-based economic integration and thus realize the potential economic benefits. In terms of economic conditions, the SADC countries are an extremely heterogeneous group. This can be seen from Table 5.1, which includes those SADC member countries covered in this study. At the time of the Windhoek Treaty, the GDP per capita ranged roughly 20:1 from richest to poorest. In terms of economic size, the range was nearly 100:1. GDP growth performance in the previous 20 years varied considerably, but some SADC countries had a surprisingly good record of economic management in terms of the average rate of inflation, poverty reduction and human development.2 An important characteristic of the SADC region is the historically high level of barriers to trade. While there was...

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