Chapter 3: Regional Integration in Southern Africa: Key Issues and Challenges
Trudi Hartzenberg and Davie Malungisa 3.1 INTRODUCTION A defining feature of the architecture of international trade relations and international trade regulation is certainly the proliferation of regional trade agreements (RTAs) during recent years. This proliferation takes on special significance against the backdrop of the deadlock of the Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations and reflects the ambition of key developed country players such as the European Union (EU) and United States (US) to secure their trade interests, particularly in the developing world, but also their ambition to extend the trade agenda beyond the ambition articulated in the multilateral trading system. The proliferation of RTAs is, however, not only a feature of the developed country trade ambitions (Schiff and Winters, 2003), but increasingly RTAs are defining trade relations among developing countries, with socalled South–South agreements. Among the South–South RTAs, it is the reinvigorated debates related to intra-regional RTAs in Southern Africa that are the focus of this chapter. For Southern Africa1 the developments broadly on the RTA front are pertinent, particularly as they battle a range of political and development challenges in the region, and the competitiveness challenges of integration into the global economy. This chapter reviews briefly key current developments on the (intra-) regional economic integration agenda in Southern Africa, as well as the region’s extra-regional RTA agenda. This review highlights that there is much scope for active debate among stakeholders on a regional integration agenda, and the development of an agenda that addresses the fundamental development challenges...
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