Cape Town – South Africa’s trade strategy should advance the African agenda, the African National Congress (ANC) said in its National General Council (NGC) discussion document released on Monday.
The ANC seeks to integrate economic diplomacy by expanding regional and bilateral relations and creating opportunities for "South-South" cooperation.
“The SADC (Southern African Development Community) has grown substantially over the last decade and regional GGP (Gross Geographic Product) is now over $1trn,” the ruling party said in a section of the document relating to trade and regional integration.
It said SA’s economic development is dependent on achieving equitable regional integration and the creation of a regional economic market.
The NGC will be held from October 9 to 12 at Gallagher Estate in Midrand and comes two-and-a-half years after the ANC’s 2012 conference in Mangaung.
The ANC highlighted challenges to its trade strategy, which include "unregulated capitalist development" and "inefficient logistics infrastructure".
On Monday, ANC head of policy Jeff Radebe told reporters that the NGC would assess progress made in implementing the resolutions taken in 2012, analyse challenges encountered and lessons learnt and identify challenges.
Around 3 000 people are expected to participate in the NGC, of which 2 500 would be delegates representing branches of the ANC.