SADC to iron out trade barriers at annual meetings

Friday, March 9, 2018

Barriers to trade will be under the spotlight at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) annual meetings to be held in Gauteng next week.

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (dti) will co-host the 33rd Annual Meetings of SADC Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Cooperation Structures at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg.

The weeklong deliberations will commence on Sunday with workshops and committee meetings.

The gathering is expected to lay the framework for the continued implementation of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Annex to SADC Protocol on Trade.

The SADC Protocol on Trade aims to progressively eliminate unnecessary technical barriers to trade among the SADC members and other regional and international trading blocks and promote an infrastructure for quality.

“In July 2014, the SADC Committee of Ministers of Trade approved a revised Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Extension. This then led to the formation of a formal framework wherein cooperation among regulators, stakeholders and the national institutions for standardisation, quality assurance, accreditation and metrology can take place,” said Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies on Thursday.

SADC member states attending the meeting will be represented by officials with expertise in the standards, accreditation, technical regulations, metrology and the legal metrology fields. 

The meeting coincides with South Africa’s Chairpersonship of the SADC Council of Ministers, which commenced on 17 August 2017.

The week’s deliberations will build up to a SADC Annual Quality Awards dinner which will take place on Wednesday.

The awards will recognise companies from SADC member states for their robust use and implementation of standards and quality procedures in their operations that have positively contributed to the growth of their businesses.

“This ceremony will also create increased awareness of the importance of a quality culture in pursuit of product competitiveness and increased trade,” said the dti. - SAnews.gov.za

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