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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- Mukhisa Kituyi (L), Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and Mukhisa Kituyi ®, Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) speaks during the Africa Union E-Commerce Conference in Nairobi, July 23, 2018. The United Nations on July 23 urged African states to develop regulations in order to spur e-commerce growth. XINHUA PHOTO: CHARLES ONYANGO

African bloc urged to implement e-trade
measures to promote exports 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) can reap 17.5 billion annually in intra-COMESA exports if all the member states fully implement digital trade facilitation reforms, the bloc said in a study on Tuesday.

The study, which was released at the ongoing fifth COMESA Annual Research Forum in Nairobi, says five countries—Eritrea, Egypt, Sudan, Libya and Ethiopia—have the greatest intra-COMESA export trade potential.

Adam Willie, principal economist at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Enterprise Development of Zimbabwe, said the conclusion was based on their low baseline implementation scores of the six digital trade facilitation measures in the study.

“The implementation scores used in the study only captured the paperless trade facilitation measures that enable efficient coordination and exchange of data and documents among government border agencies and business community within a country,” Adam said.

According to the research findings, top scorers under the assessment criteria were Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius and Rwanda.

According to the researcher, the top scorers have exhausted their potential to generate additional intra-COMESA exports with respect to scaling up implementation of the six e-trade facilitation measures considered in this study.

Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Malawi, Swaziland, Seychelles, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe had medium implementation scores, thus presenting significant potential to increase intra-COMESA trade.

The study recommended policy changes by countries with low to medium baseline implementation scores to scale up implementation of e-trade facilitation to realize the demonstrated potential benefits for the region. 

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