The CDAA promotes the following trade promotion strategies throughout southern Africa: as part of its regional integration programme, SADC has made considerable progress in removing trade barriers and has encouraged growth in the region. CDIC has also signed a protocol on trade in services to ensure the liberalization of trade in services. The CDAA is committed to removing trade barriers, such as import/export quotas and administrative monitoring. Trade is essential to the economic development of a region. However, it also has broader benefits that support the process of regional integration. Nations that expand trade with others by liberalizing trade policy increase economic growth and improve the quality of life of their people. The CDAA aims to facilitate trade by simplifying, harmonizing, standardizing and modernizing regional customs procedures. The Southern African Development Community (CDAA) Trade Protocol (1996), as amended in 2010, is one of the main legal instruments that guide the CDAA`s trade work. This is an agreement between CDAA member states to reduce tariffs and other barriers to trade in imported goods between CDAA member states.
The protocol provided for the creation of a free trade area in the region. The Regional Strategic Development Plan aimed to implement the CDAA Free Trade Area by 2008 and a customs union by 2010. In order to support broader cooperation and effective monitoring of trade practices, the CDAA has developed a declaration on regional cooperation in competition and consumer policy. . TBT appendix to the CDAA Trade Protocol – Approved version – 17 July 2014 – English Free Trade Area in which Member States agree to remove tariffs against each other, but which is free to impose their own external tariffs on third countries, promotes economic cooperation between Member States. A customs union adds a common external tariff for non-CDAA countries, with all EU members benefiting from this right. At the 28th CDAA Summit in Johannesburg in August 2008, the Free Trade Area was officially established by 12 of the 15 CDAA member states. At the beginning of 2008, most tariffs on products from participating Member States were abolished (i.e.
about 85% of products were levied without tariffs in January 2008) and a common customs regime was applied to imports of products from third countries. The Protocol on Trade in Services was developed and signed in August 2012 as a step towards the creation of a free trade area for services.