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Padamja Khandelwal

themselves. Negotiations over Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union (EU) are ongoing and it remains to be seen if the agreements prove to be welfare-enhancing. The EPAs are an opportunity to rationalize the overlapping memberships in various RTAs and can act as a mechanism to lock-in trade and other structural and institutional reforms, including in the services sectors. Liberalization of trade with the EU is likely to cause steep declines in revenue from trade taxes in COMESA and SADC countries, which could however be addressed by appropriate

International Monetary Fund

significant liberalization of imports. SADC countries account for 12.5 percent of Madagascar imports. However, in practice, the liberalization will be much more limited: only 5.6 percent of Madagascar imports will benefit from the tariff cut. The reason is overlapping membership ( Table II.2 ). Four SADC countries (including Madagascar’s main trading partner in SADC, Mauritius) are also members of the COMESA FTA. As a result, their exports to Madagascar already benefit from a duty-free access. Since Madagascar imports from SADC are extremely concentrated (Mauritius and