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SACU must maximise BRICS bank support

 13 November 2015

Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma says the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) must take advantage of the support of the New Development Bank (NDB) BRICS, which aims to fund projects in Africa and other parts of the world.
President Zuma said this upon his return to the country, after attending the opening of the new SACU offices which are headquartered in Windhoek, Namibia.
The NDB BRICS, formerly referred to as the BRICS Development Bank, is a multilateral development bank operated by the BRICS states (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
The bank is set up to foster greater financial and development cooperation among the five emerging markets.

Photo: President Jacob Zuma, his Namibian conterpart President Hage Geingob and Botswana President Seretse Khama with other leaders cut the ribbon at the inauguration of SACU building in Windhoek

President Zuma said the bank could play a positive role in funding economic development projects in the SACU member states.
“SACU has been in existence since 1910, thus making it the oldest customs union in the world. The agreement establishing the union provides for a common external tariff and a common excise tariff to the customs area, with revenue being shared among member states according to a revenue-sharing formula as described in the agreement,” said the President’s office.
President Zuma said he was encouraged by the current work done by SACU, which was an indication that member states (Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Lesotho) were taking the work of the institution seriously.
President Zuma said SACU leaders agreed that the institution continues to play an important role in their countries’ economies, and that it should be transformed into a vehicle for regional integration capable of promoting equitable development and the new SACU vision.
“South Africa is impressed by the work of SACU. However, we have a common view with other member states that we need to accelerate our programmes by taking bold decisions that require a collective commitment towards securing the long-term economic prosperity of our region to the benefit of our people,” said the President.
President Zuma, who is currently SACU Chairperson, said economies of the neighbouring countries are intertwined, hence it is necessary to effectively use SACU to grow the economies and also contribute to the development of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.
“Our economies have resources that can be utilised to spur economic growth through the development of both our agriculture and manufacturing sector.
“We must redouble our efforts to build and rehabilitate the regional infrastructure that must underpin production and trade growth,” said the President. –



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