|Official Name||Republic of Namibia|
|Location||Southern Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and South Africa|
|Area||total: 825,418 sq km land: 825,418 sq km water: 0 sq km|
|Climate||desert; hot, dry; rainfall sparse and erratic|
|Terrain||mostly high plateau; Namib Desert along coast; Kalahari Desert in east|
The leaders of three African trading blocs signed an agreement to create a free trade zone of 26 countries with a GDP of an estimated $624bn (£382.9bn). It is hoped the deal will ease access to markets within the region and end problems arising from the fact several countries belong to multiple groups.The deal also aims to strengthen the bloc's bargaining power when negotiating international deals.Analysts say the agreement will help intra-regional trade and boost growth.The three blocs which struck the deal were the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).The agreement will also lend its backing to joint infrastructure and energy projects in the zone.
The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is a United States Trade Act that significantly enhances U.S. market access for (currently) 39 Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. The Act originally covered the 8-year period from October 2000 to September 2008, but amendments signed into law by U.S.President George Bush in July 2004 further extend AGOA to 2015. At the same time, a special dispensation relating to apparel was extended by three years to 2007. On 20 December 2006, key changes to AGOA were signed into law, extending the garment provisions to 2012. In June 2007, a revised textile certificate of origin was published to give effect to the "abundant supply" provisions contained in the most recent legislative changes.AGOA builds on existing U.S. trade programs by expanding the (duty-free) benefits previously available only under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) program. Duty-free access to the U.S. market under the combined AGOA/GSP program stands at approximately 7,000 product tariff lines, including the roughly 1,800 product tariff lines that were added to the GSP by the AGOA legislation. Notably, these include items such as apparel and footwear, wine, certain motor vehicle components, a variety of agricultural products, chemicals, steel and others. The purpose of this legislation was to assist the economies of sub-Saharan Africa and to improve economic relations between the United States and the region.
The Cotonou Agreement is aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty while contributing to sustainable development and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy. The revised Cotonou Agreement is also concerned with the fight against impunity and promotion of criminal justice through the International Criminal Court. The agreement also provides for reciprocal trade agreements, meaning that not only the EU provides duty-free access to its markets for ACP exports, but ACP countries also provide duty-free access to their own markets for EU exports.
The Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA States and the SACU States was signed in Höfn on 26 June 2006. The Agreement covers trade in goods and lays the foundation for a further engagement of the Parties with regard to intellectual property, investment, trade in services and public procurement. A Joint Committee is established for the supervision and administration of the Agreement, and provisions are included providing for consultations and dispute settlement procedures.
The PTA creates a basis for further integration and cooperation including through possible further exchanges of tariff preferences, and cooperation on any other area. It establishes a legal framework to govern SACU and MERCOSUR trade relations.The Understanding reached between SACU and MERCOSUR outlines a built-in agenda for further work that could take the form of amendments or additional protocols to the PTA. These include: further exchange of tariff preferences, rules of origin (RoO), customs cooperation, Non Tariff Measures (i.e. SPS), and the automotive sector.
In 2001 SACU and the United States of America (USA) started a process aimed at concluding a Free Trade Agreement between the two sides. However, due to diverging views on a number of issues, in 2004 it was agreed to suspend this process and explore an alternative approach to improve trade relations between the two sides. During February 2007, both sides agreed to enter into a Trade, Investment and Cooperation Agreement (TIDCA). This agreement will provide the framework for formal interaction between the two parties, while also providing a basis to enter into separate agreements on technical issue On 2008 both sides signed the agreement, aimed at promoting investment and expanding and diversifying trade between SACU and the USA. It establishes a Consultative Group on Trade and Investment.
The SADC FTA is the culmination of years of work, which started when SADC members signed the SADC Trade Protocol in 1996. The protocol, which came into effect in 2000, does away with customs tariffs on many goods, mainly foodstuffs, and was a precursor to the establishment of the FTA. Some 170-million people live within the SADC FTA. As such, the initiative is expected to provide more opportunities for trade and employment, and will herald a surge of economic growth, industrialisation and competition among companies. According to SADC, regional trade is likely to increase from its current annual value of about R2.8-trillion to R3.4-trillion ($360-billion to $431-billion).
A reciprocal agreement in effect since 1992, subject to rules of origin which require at least 25 percent local content for manufactured goods and that Zimbabwe and Namibia should, as exporters, be the last place of substantial manufacturing. Other eligible products include mineral and vegetable products, live animals and their products.
ACTIF is a trade body that aims to promote specific concerns of the industry and promote improved competitiveness in both regional and global market place. Membership emphasis on private sector “ownership” with strong allegiance of nationally based trade institutions. ACTIF comprises of an Executive and four action committees: 1) Global Trade Initiatives, 2)Investment and Finance, 3)Inter-Regional Trade and Supply Chain, 4)Production, Ginning and Lint Trade
Formed with the idea in mind to accelerate the process of integrating the continent to enable it to play its role in the global economy, while addressing multifacted social, economic and political problems that are compounded by negative aspects of globalization.
COFTA is composed of 70 member organizations from 30 Africa countries. It is a grass root organization that aims toward Fair Trade. Aims to provide a forum for collaboration and networking amongst AFTO and develop the fair trade movement and the economic empowerment of the disadvantaged African producers.
The aim of SACU is to maintain free interchange of goods between member countries. Provides for a common external tariff and a common excise tariff to this common customs area. Customs and excise are paid to the South Africa's national Revenue Fund, which is then shared among members based on a revenue-sharing formula. It is a subgroup of SADC.