Nam Didn’t Refuse to Sign SADC Trade Protocol

MINISTER of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein on Thursday denied that Namibia had refused to sign the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Trade in Service.

This comes after it was reported that President Hifikepunye Pohamba had, at the closing of the 34th SADC Heads of State and Government Summit in Victoria Fall, declined to sign the protocol after consulting Schlettwein.

Media reports claim that SADC members signed the Trade Protocol in August 2012, but South Africa and Namibia needed more time to decide.

The protocol sees that all countries have a set of rules and obligations when it comes to services and service suppliers from other countries.

During the parliamentary session on Thursday, Schlettwein said it was not true that Namibia had refused to sign the protocol, which he said comprises a number of annexes with details as to the sector and service sectors.

He identified the areas as financial, energy, construction, communication and tourism sectors that needed to be liberated.

Schlettwein said, at the time, Namibia indicated that it needed time to go through the protocol and its annexes before making any commitments.

“What happened is that during the recent summit, the master of ceremonies of the closing session of the recent SADC summit, in line with the SADC tradition placed before the head of states and governments all adopted protocols that have not yet been signed. Namibian indicated it was not yet ready to sign the protocol for now,” said Schlettwein.

Source : The Namibian