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Botswana chairs SACU Council

WINDHOEK, 25 JUN (NAMPA) –Botswana will Chair the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Council of Ministers, effective 15 July 2017 to 14 July 2018, following the fifth SACU Heads of State and Government summit in Swaziland on Friday.
Heads of State and Governments convened to consider the Report of the Council on progress made regarding the implementation of the roadmap to reinvigorate the SACU Work Programme.
The Heads of State and Governments on 12 November 2015, in Windhoek endorsed the programme that among others focuses on reviewing and developing a suitable architecture for tariff-setting, rebates, duty drawbacks and trade remedies
A media statement issued by the SACU Secretariat here Sunday says the work programme also includes a review of the regional bloc’s revenue sharing formula and the long-term management of the common revenue pool, while identifying financing options for regional projects.
The Friday Summit emphasised that SACU economies experience similar economic challenges that can be better dealt with in an integrated manner.
In this regard, the Summit directed the ministerial task teams to prioritise industrial development and develop concrete cross-border projects to promote industrialisation to ensure that the region is able to optimise economic benefits and withstand global economic shocks.
Council agreed to review aspects of the SACU Agreement, 2002, to facilitate the development of member-states’ economies and reaffirmed the importance of SACU in deepening regional economic integration, industrialisation and economic diversification.
All integration must be geared towards allowing member states to take advantage of regional and global economic developments.
The Summit was chaired by King Mswati of Swaziland and was attended by South African President, Jacob Zuma; Vice President of Botswana, Mokgweetsi Masisi; Namibia’s Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein and Lesotho’s chief executive in the Economic Policy and Development Planning Department of the Ministry of Finance, Motena Tsolo.
According to the SACU Rules of Procedure, member states rotate the chairmanship of the Council every 12th calendar month in alphabetical order.

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