The Workshop this morning is going to cover how CAIA protects the interests of members from a Trade perspective and will go into some detail around the types of trade matters that CAIA is involved with and how CAIA lobbies through various Fora to ensure that members are provided with an opportunity to provide input on trade-related matters in a political environment that is increasingly open to free trade within the region and continent.
CAIA is pleased to have representatives from the Association, the broader business community as well as Government present today and trusts that the information that is shared will allow discussion and a better understanding of the trade policy environment and the implementation thereof to be gained.
The importance of trade to South Africa cannot be underestimated, and while South Africa strives to focus on increasing exports through industrial policy for example, imports also need to be closely monitored to ensure that the South African economy is allowed a fair opportunity to transform raw materials into products for the local market. However, as can be imagined, this is a complex matter that speaks to competition, trade barriers, job creation and trade agreements.
The Workshop will also focus on the steps in import and export both from a company perspective as well as from that of the regulator. This should provide useful information and CAIA hopes that discussion is stimulated.
After a short break, the discussion will become more technical, with focus being placed on bi- and multilateral trade agreements and the mechanisms of negotiation; including the distinction between tariff versus rules of origin negotiations, and offers versus requests. This is a particularly important area as CAIA often provides information on trade negotiations to members for input and this session may assist in further participation in CAIA's lobbying activities. CAIA will then highlight the importance of paying attention to these international negotiations. An often confusing element of trade policy for many is the distinction between Standard Industrial Classification Codes and Tariff Codes that will be briefly explained.
In the final session before lunch, non-tariff barriers and non-tariff measures will be explained, together with how these can be addressed on an individual basis. Other mechanisms for companies to explore to protect their products will also be highlighted, such as anti-dumping provisions and other trade remedies.
CAIA trusts that the information will be useful and interesting.