Regional Trade and Integration Review

In this paper Edwards and Lawrence analyse the challenges currently presented to Zambian regional policy.

They conclude that (a) while Zambia should adopt the same tariff as other Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) members, it should be cautious about losing its tariff-setting ability and accepting the legally binding obligations of customs union membership until the members of COMESA are able to remove their internal customs barriers.

(b) Zambia should participate in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as a Free Trade Areas (FTA) member but cannot belong to two customs unions unless they adopt the same external tariff.

(c) Zambia’s privileged position as a member of both SADC and COMESA will be eroded by a new Tripartite FTA. Its participation in that initiative therefore would only be beneficial if the agreement provides for improved trade facilitation, less restrictive rules of origin and other measures to reduce trade costs.

Finally, (d) while initiatives to facilitate regional financial cooperation should be supported, monetary union at the regional level is not desirable for the foreseeable future.

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