Regional value chains have gained increasing popularity in promoting sustained market opportunities, job creation, and sustainable development among countries. With the enactment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, access to larger economic markets will mean larger economies of scale, development of specialised capabilities, increase in productivity, as well as increased obligational relationships among Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries through regional industrial value chains. This research investigates how South Africa can promote regional value chains in SADC by importing more from its fellow SADC countries.
The analysis investigates the export potential from SADC countries, using the Revealed Trade Advantage (RTA), the Revealed Import Advantage (RMA) and the Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) indexes. These indexes will establish which sustained export opportunities (products) are available for SADC countries to export to South Africa, and these opportunities are detailed for each country. The analysis then looks at the regional perspective of these export opportunities from SADC countries, as most lie within the Clothing, Textiles, Footwear and Leather industry. Last, the analysis discusses the existing barriers to trade for SADC countries. The intention is to promote sustained export opportunities with South Africa importing more from SADC countries. The results from this paper can be a starting point for policymakers to think about strategies to enhance utilisation of sustained export opportunities for SADC countries into South Africa.