TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

USTR lauds progress by COMESA on regional economic integration

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Source: United States Trade Representative (Washington, DC

At a meeting today with a delegation from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Deputy U.S. Trade Representative John K. Veroneau commended COMESA’s work in advancing economic integration in sub-Saharan Africa .

“COMESA has made great strides in integrating the markets of its 19 member countries,” said Ambassador Veroneau. “During the ten-year tenure of outgoing COMESA Secretary-General Mwencha, COMESA has launched a free trade area , addressed regional customs and transportation bottlenecks, and laid the basis for a common investment area and a c ustoms u nion. These achievements have facilitated the region’s integration into the global economy and improved the economic competitiveness of COMESA member countries. The United States is pleased to have provided technical assistance to advance much of this work.”

Veroneau was speaking at the opening of the latest high-level consultation between the United States and COMESA under the United States-COMESA Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa Florizelle Liser led the discussions for the United States during most of the half-day meeting, which included discussions on U.S.-COMESA trade, implementation of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the WTO Doha negotiations, trade capacity building activities, infrastructure issues, and investment.

Secretary-General Mwencha, who led the discussions for COMESA, is leaving his COMESA post later this month to be the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Background:

COMESA is the largest regional economic organization in Africa , with 19 member states. The United States and COMESA signed a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement in October 2001 and have held five high-level meetings under the TIFA since then, including the meeting that took place April 10.

Total two-way trade between the United States and the member countries of COMESA was valued at $14.6 billion in 2007, up 21 percent from 2006. U.S. exports to the COMESA region were $7.3 billion, up 27 percent; U.S. imports from COMESA countries were also $7.3 billion, up 16 percent. The leading U.S. exports to the COMESA region are cereals, machinery, aircraft, and motor vehicles. U.S. imports from COMESA countries include oil, apparel, fertilizers, precious stones, and coffee. Thirteen COMESA countries are eligible for benefits under AGOA. In 2007, U.S. imports from COMESA countries under AGOA and the Generalized System of Preferences were valued at just over $1.0 billion.

U.S. trade capacity building assistance for COMESA member countries totaled $303 million from FY05 through FY07. This included $1.8 million in technical assistance to the COMESA Secretariat by USAID and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, as well as additional support for COMESA regional initiatives through the USAID Regional Mission for East Africa and the USAID-funded East and Central Africa Global Competitiveness Hub.

 

 

 

“ Latest AGOA Trade Data currently available on AGOA.info


Click here to view a sector profile of the COMESA region’s bilateral trade with the United States, disaggregated by total exports and imports, AGOA exports and GSP exports.

 

Other regularly updated trade statistics on AGOA.info include: (click each link to view)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View related news articles

Zambia: ‘Regional integration vital for growth’

Zambia: ‘Regional integration vital for growth’

Zambia will continue strengthening its participation in regional economic integration and trade investment platforms because the agenda will promote the country’s industrialisation efforts, a senior Government official has said. Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Kayula Siame also said there is need for continued private sector sensitisation on...

14 October, 2016
COMESA states lack strong industries to spur regional trade - Siame

COMESA states lack strong industries to spur regional trade - Siame

Zambia commerce permanent secretary Kayula Siame says intra-COMESA trade continues to face challenges despite the available instruments designed to improve integration. And COMESA assistant secretary general Dr Kipyego Cheluget says Zambia is among countries that have not exploited the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Speaking during the official opening of the...

31 August, 2016
COMESA: AGOA-US exports swell to $17 billion

COMESA: AGOA-US exports swell to $17 billion

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) exports to America under the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) has amounted to US$17 billion. The exports through the COMESA eligible countries amounted to $17.3 billion by November 2015. COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya said the United States-COMESA Trade and Investments Framework Agreement (TIFA) provides...

08 February, 2016
US urges Zambia to diversify

US urges Zambia to diversify

The US government says the recent slump in copper prices serves as a timely reminder for Zambia to diversify its economy. US Ambassador to Zambia Eric Shultz says serious efforts must be taken to shift the economy to agriculture, tourism and power generation. Speaking when he officiated at the eighth US-COMESA consultative trade meeting, Ambassador Shultz also urged member...

08 February, 2016
COMESA reportedly unhappy with poor trade with US

COMESA reportedly unhappy with poor trade with US

Africa’s main regional trade bloc, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), on Tuesday expressed concerns over its low share of trade with the United States despite the two sides having signed economic development agreements. The COMESA said it was unfortunate that both of its export and import with the U.S. remain low. The value of trade between the...

24 February, 2015
Zambia: Government, COMESA act to boost AGOA exports

Zambia: Government, COMESA act to boost AGOA exports

The Government in collaboration with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has put in place a committee which will look at ways and means of increasing exports to the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) market in the United States of America(USA). Commerce Trade and Industry Minister Bob Sichinga said there were a number of issues that needed to be...

21 May, 2014
East Africa: Kenya pips Tanzania in AGOA Trade

East Africa: Kenya pips Tanzania in AGOA Trade

Tanzania's performance in regards to exporting goods under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has not been satisfactory as compared to countries like Kenya, the government announced last week. However in recent years, the trend has improved. AGOA was introduced by the United States government in 2000 to encourage sub-Saharan countries export products to the...

29 April, 2013
US Trade Ambassador Marantis begins three-country East Africa visit in Burundi

US Trade Ambassador Marantis begins three-country East Africa visit in Burundi

Today, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis began his three country East Africa visit in Burundi where he met with senior government officials and members of the private sector. Ambassador Marantis met with Second Vice President Gervais Rufyikiri, Commerce Minister Victoire Ndikumana, and other officials who were participating in a conference focused on...

15 October, 2012
US government increases funding to COMESA

US government increases funding to COMESA

The US government has increased funding to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Africa's largest trading block, for the 2010/2011 financial year, the Zambia Daily Mail reported on Saturday. President Barack Obama's government has increased the funding from 1.593 million U. S. dollars allocated in the last program to 4 million dollars, according to...

20 November, 2010
US urged to invest in Africa

US urged to invest in Africa

Speaking in Washington DC in the US during the ongoing Agoa 2010 Summit, Comesa Secretary General, Sindiso Ngwenya, and the Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA) CEO, Dr Cris Muyunda, made earnest appeals to US investors to invest in Africa. Ngwenya said Africa has potential to produce enough food for internal needs and international...

07 August, 2010
Comesa: AGOA should focus on investment

Comesa: AGOA should focus on investment

The United States has been challenged to seek ways of increasing investment in Africa to enable the continent take fuller advantage of Africa Growth Opportunity Act. Experts say the levels of savings in Africa as being too low to promote investment, thus the need to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Speaking during the plenary session on ‘Successes, Challenges and...

17 August, 2009