Common Market for East and Southern Africa
The planned creation of a 26-nation African Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) will draw industrial investment to South Africa by making it a springboard for low-duty access to other parts of the continent, trade and industry director general Lionel October said on Monday.
Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube says if negotiations for the Common Market for East and Southern Africa - East African Community - South African Development Corporation Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) are successfully completed, Zimbabwean goods and commodities will find greater markets on the continent.
On Sunday, heads of state and government from Africa’s three main regional blocs – the Southern African Development Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the East African Community – will meet in South Africa to launch negotiations for a Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA).
A trade expert yesterday warned that vested interests and policy differences in the East Africa and Southern African region could derail a bid to create a free-trade agreement among 26 countries unless there was enough "political stomach for deeper (regional) integration".
Success of the grandiose Tripartite Free Trade Area will largely depend on how geared members of COMESA, EAC and SADC are to swiftly implementing agreements and trade protocols.
The Southern Africa Development Community and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa are currently in the process of liberalizing trade in services.
In the inaugural tripartite summit held in Kampala, Uganda in October 2008, our heads of state and government made a number of decisions, one of which was that the 26 countries that make up the COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite should speed up the process of integration as outlined in the Lagos plan of action and as articulated by the continental body of the African union commission.
Swaziland will next week host the third meeting of the COMESA committee on the Customs Union.
The first summit of the envisaged Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA) will be held in South Africa on June 12 where a specific roadmap and timetable for implementation of the expanded economic grouping will be announced.
After Look East, India is now adding a ’Focus West’ chapter to its trade policy. Under increasing pressure from China, especially in Africa, New Delhi is now moving ahead with plans to sign three comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA) that would include free trade pacts in goods and services. In addition, the government has started work on upgrading its preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Mercosur”comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay”commerce & industry minister Anand Sharma said.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) has signalled intentions to expand presence in the Middle East to enhance Arab-African trade relations, despite political turmoil in the region.
With regional wheels rolling to put in place the envisaged grand tripartite free trade area (FTA), questions have arisen about whether it would be viable and increase competitiveness.
The panel would also clear negotiations for India-Australia FTA and examine setting up a joint study group for a possible free trade pact between India and the Common Market For Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Before mid-year South Africa would host the next summit on the establishment of a Trilateral Free Trade Agreement (T-FTA) among the regional economic groupings of the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
COMESA is developing an agro-processing sector strategy in partnership with the International Trade Centre under the All-African Caribbean Pacific Agricultural Commodities Programme.
Negotiations for a tripartite free trade area (FTA), which would include 26 East and Southern African member states, were expected to begin by mid-year, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said on Tuesday.
Implementation challenges and barriers to trade liberalization currently dogging SADC’s Free Trade Area (FTA) will continue to haunt member states in the implementation of an ambitious grand FTA encompassing COMESA, EAC and SADC.
As the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) continue to integrate their economies, countries are now subscribing to the block’s trading area in order to attract investment.
South Africa is pushing ahead to secure a free trade agreement between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for East African States (Comesa).
African governments’ ambitious plan for a tripartite free trade area (FTA), stretching from South Africa to Egypt, could be more realistic than getting existing ineffective regional customs unions on the continent to work.