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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

COMESA tackles 97.5 pct of non-tariff barriers 

LUSAKA, (Xinhua) -- The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) said on Monday that it has managed to resolve 199 out of 204 non-traffic barriers to regional trade that have been reported by member states since the establishment of the Non-Tariff Barrier Online Reporting Mechanism in 2008, representing a success rate of 97.5 percent.

COMESA secretary-general Chileshe Kapwepwe however expressed concern that the secretariat has continued receiving reports of non-tariff barriers, a move that was frustrating efforts to enhance intra-COMESA trade.

In remarks delivered at the 34th COMESA Trade and Customs Committee meeting, the official said despite member states’ agreeing to abolish all non-tariff barriers when signing the treaty it was discouraging that the problem keeps emerging and affecting intra-regional trade.

“Most member states have taken long to remove certain non-tariff barriers and to operationalize the COMESA Customs Union and the launch of the common market,” she said in an emailed statement from the secretariat.

Since the establishment of the free trading arrangement in 2000, intra-COMESA exports have increased from 1.5 billion U.S. dollars to 7.9 billion dollars in 2017 while the global COMESA exports stand at 86,912.7 million dollars, but intra-COMESA exports only account for 9.1 percent of COMESA’s overall exports.

             

 

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