Trade in SACU Energy Services: Towards a Negotiating Strategy

Image: Flickr, GovernmentZA
Image: Flickr, GovernmentZA

The sub-region is richly endowed with a variety of energy sources.

However, development of these resources is constrained by factors such as the shortage of equipment, the inability of SACU energy utilities to meet demand, and tariff and pricing rules. These and other obstacles limit energy’s potential to serve effectively the needs of the people of SACU, while in some countries energy supply is unreliable and expensive, contributing to an uncompetitive business environment.

The lack of common policies or positions on such issues as services has increasingly come under the spotlight in SACU’s trade negotiations with external trade partners such as the United States. It has been argued that as long as SACU countries are not harmonized among themselves agreements with external parties covering trade in services may remain elusive.

SAIIA’s energy services study considers the challenge of ascertaining to what extent energy services markets in SACU may be integrated in practice; the regulatory environment that is governing this integration; and whether harmonization or regional trade agreements can enhance this integration.  Though the SACU Agreement does not cover the liberalization of trade in services, SACU member states have engaged in services trade liberalizing activities primarily through unilateral policy measures whether bound in the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services or not, and through implementation of a range of the Southern African Development Community Protocols. Furthermore the SACU energy sector has through the Southern African Power Pool taken the lead in integrating the economies of member countries and sharing of energy resources to maximum mutual benefit. Please click here to access the workshop report.

The event was scheduled as follows:

Programme*

Chair:                        Nkululeko Khumalo, SAIIA

10h00 – 10h10          Opening and welcome

10h10 – 10h40          SACU Energy Services: Towards a Negotiating Strategy
Tsidiso Disenyana, SAIIA

10h40 – 11h30          Panel Discussion:
Andre Otto, Department of Energy
Peet du Plooy, WWF
Mokhethi Seitlheko, Lesotho Ministry of Energy (TBC)

11h30 – 12h30         Open Discussion and Closure

12h30 – 13h00         Lunch

27 Aug 2009