Windhoek: Southern Africa Customs Union ministers will again consider reports on the ongoing review of the revenue-sharing arrangement at their meeting this week Friday in Pretoria, South Africa. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland have been mulling various ideas of equitable revenue sharing, with due consideration to countries with weaker economies requiring more development funds.
A number of ideas have been proposed, including either setting up a dedicated development fund or to increase the development component under the sharing formula.
There is already a general agreement, as echoed during the first Heads of State summit in 2010, that the revenue pool within the union should address development, strengthen industrial development as well as taking care of the countries with smaller economies in the group.
The Pretoria meeting will be the 26th Council of Ministers meeting, and as usual, the meeting will include senior government officials from all five member countries.
The council will also consider the progress made on various trade negotiations, such as the Preferential Trade Agreement with India, the Trade, Investment and Development Cooperation Agreement with the USA, and implementation issues on the tripartite Free Trade Agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the SADC.
Other topics of discussions include proposals for the improvement of trade data reconciliation among SACU member states.
The meeting will also consider “an update on the trade facilitation programme, a report on the quarterly performance of the common revenue pool and a proposed action plan for addressing the improvement of collection, compilation and dissemination of trade data among member states.”
Another issue for council’s consideration will be “the draft Amendments to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Agreement 2002, to institutionalise the SACU Summit.
Council will also consider Draft Rules of Procedure for the SACU Summit, an update on the establishment of the SACU Tribunal as well as a progress report on the establishment of the SACU Tariff Board.