|Countries Involved:|| Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, United Republic Of, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, |
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).