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COMESA To Boost Free Trade Zone

By Vision Reporter

Added 25th May 2002 03:00 AM

The seventh summit of head of states and government of the Common Market for Eastern and southern Africa (COMESA) has today ended in Addis- Ababa with a call on all member states to join the Free Trade Area by December 2004.

The seventh summit of head of states and government of the Common Market for Eastern and southern Africa (COMESA) has today ended in Addis- Ababa with a call on all member states to join the Free Trade Area by December 2004.

The seventh summit of head of states and government of the Common Market for Eastern and southern Africa (COMESA) has today ended in Addis- Ababa with a call on all member states to join the Free Trade Area by December 2004. President Yoweri Museveni and nine other heads of state issued a join communiqué, which called on members who have not joined the Free Trade Area (FTA) to submit their time frames and tariff reduction schedules for joining FTA before the end of this year. “All the issues were discussed earlier than planned,” a member of one east African delegation told AFP. He asked AFP to explain why the COMESA summit ended early yet opened it opened on Thursday and was scheduled to last for two days. Leaders from Africa’s largest trading bloc, COMESA, put their weight behind the New Economic Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) as a keystone of their regional and domestic policies. In a final communique, the leaders “agreed on the need for all member states to join the COMESA Free Trade Area and urged those that have not yet joined the FTA to submit, their timeframes and tariff reduction schedules before the end of 2002, pointing out “the grave food security situation,” the final communique also urged the COMESA secretariat to develop programmes aimed at easing the crisis in members states. COMESA comprises a potential market of 340 inhabitants and a total GDP of 170 billion dollars (185 billion euros). Its members are Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya. Others are Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, the Seychelles, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, the Union of the Comoros Zambia and Zimbabwe. Tanzania withdrew from COMESA in September 2000. AFP Ends

COMESA To Boost Free Trade Zone

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