(Xinhua) -- Tunisia is making preparations to join Africa’s largest
trading bloc, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the
bloc said on Monday.
Tunisia is preparing to sign the
COMESA Treaty during the next summit scheduled for October this year, which will
herald its admission into the regional bloc as the 20th member,
according to a statement released by the secretariat based in Lusaka, the
According to the statement, Tunisian
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed told a COMESA delegation that his country was
ready to conclude the negotiations early in readiness for the accession to the
The Tunisian government expressed its
readiness and commitment to contribute to the realization of COMESA’s objectives
once the country was admitted.
A COMESA delegation led by its
secretary-general Sindiso Ngwenya is in Tunisia to discuss with the government
on the steps towards joining Africa’s largest trading bloc.
The delegation held talks with the
Tunisian government on the activities needed to be undertaken as part of the
preparations to accede to the COMESA treaty, the statement added.
Tunisia first applied for observer
status in COMESA in 2005 but the matter was not concluded. The government
formally wrote to the regional bloc making inquiries of joining it in February
Currently, Egypt is the only country
in north Africa which is a member of COMESA.
Article four of the COMESA treaty
provides that the regional bloc may admit a country which is an immediate
neighbor of a member state.