As part of the GEG Africa trade and regional developments theme, the workshop explored the role of the Southern African Customs Union in facilitating the development of intra-regional trade. GEG Africa had commissioned four country case studies to collect evidence from firms in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland on opportunities for intra-regional trade and investment, and current obstacles to the development of cross-border value chains. The results from these case studies and the experiences of these firms were presented at the workshop.
In addition, this research and the workshop sought to inform discussions within SACU on the desirability and design of a SACU development fund and how such a fund may be structured to support cross-border trade and investment. Experts from Europe and the Caribbean shared lessons on the structure and performance of the European Regional Development Fund and the CARICOM Development Fund.