Only a few key issues remain to be resolved before the finalisation of a Southern African Development Community (SADC) free trade area, first agreed in 1996. Kaire Mbuende, SADC executive secretary, told Reuters on Tuesday that 70 percent of inter-regional trade already took place at tariff levels of zero-10 percent. Of the remaining 30 percent, a special approach was needed in a few specific sectors, he said.
SADC trade ministers are to meet later this month to thrash out conditions for the deregulation of trade in the automobile, textile and sugar industries. All three sectors are regarded as particularly sensitive for regional members and would be spared the immediate scrapping of tariffs, Reuters reported.
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