The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat will be launching the Regional Customs to Business Forum (RCBF) in Johannesburg, South Africa on 19 January 2024 to bolster inclusiveness in policy formulation, collaboration and advocacy in order to advance the implementation of regional cross border solutions and participation in the regional, continental and global economy.
This launch which will be held under the theme “Promoting Inclusiveness, Dialogue and Collaboration” resonates with the growing trends to strengthen export-oriented value chains through capacity needs, financing, and optimised technology efficiency within the customs and private sector ecosystem.
The main objective of the Regional Customs to Business Forum (RCBF) is to provide a platform for Customs to Business (C2B) to leverage policy advocacy opportunities within the Region that expedite implementation of Regional trade agreements and address trade facilitation initiatives which support impactive movement of goods across the SADC Region. The Forum aims to inform, advise, identify, discuss, and present options for addressing identified impediments to the flow of goods across borders in the SADC region.
The Regional Customs to Business Forum which is a significant body of the SADC Trade Facilitation Programme (SADC TFP), is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by the SADC Secretariat to support Member States to foster cooperation and collaboration with the private sector to implement the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The launch is expected to be attended by senior officials from customs administrations, representatives from the private sector, SADC Business Council, Chambers of Commerce, or other private sector bodies from each Member State as well as the SADC Secretariat.