TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

COMESA states lack strong industries to spur regional trade - Siame

Wednesday, 31 August 2016 Published: | Stuart Lisulo

Source: Zambia Post

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 32nd meeting of the trade and customs committee in Lusaka, Siame said the implementation of regional commitments and full-scale participation of COMESA member-states still required improvement.

She noted that the slow pace of domestic ratification of COMESA's trade instruments had kept some member states from utilising the benefits that could be accrued from implementation of some trade instruments.

"In as much as COMESA developed excellent instruments policies all aimed at improving integration and boosting intra-COMESA trade, we still face some challenges," Siame said at Lusaka's Grand Palace Hotel on Monday.

"The low[ level of transposition of regional instruments has affected negatively the implementation of the various programmes. For instance, a recent survey undertaken by the Secreta[riat has shown low levels of implementation of regional commitments at national levels."

She noted that sensitizatio[n of COMESA's protocols and trade instruments to enhance knowledge of the benefits was also lacking.

"There is need to revitalise the domestic industries and ensure that they tap into the existing regional market i[n order to contribute to national and regional development objectives," said Siame.

And Dr Cheluget observed that Zambia was among some COMESA members that had not exploited the AGOA platform.

"Kenya, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Swaziland, Malawi and Uganda have been relatively successful in utilising the AGOA benefits while Zambia, Burundi, Djibouti, Seychelles and Rwanda have not been so successful in exploiting the opportunity created by AGOA," said Dr Cheluget.

"Now that the AGOA and third country fabric provisions have been extended, the onus is on the COMESA AGOA eligible countri[es to put in place practical programmes that would enhance their utilisation of benefits."

COMESA member-states at the meeting received updates on various trade and macroeconomic developments in the region; the functioning of the free trade area as well as progress made on the Customs Union.

View related news articles

Kenya, Ethiopia ahead of region in benefits of AGOA treaty

Kenya, Ethiopia ahead of region in benefits of AGOA treaty

Kenya led the East African Community members in its use of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa) treaty, scoring 98 per cent. However, it came second to Ghana which recorded 99.1 per cent with Madagascar coming third at 93.7 per cent. According to data contained in the US Trade and Investment with sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Trends and New Developments report,...

26 May, 2020
Report calls for joint marketing of EAC as investment destination and eradication of NTBs

Report calls for joint marketing of EAC as investment destination and eradication of NTBs

A report of the recently concluded high level conference on trade integration notes that there is a downward trend on the profile of the East African Community (EAC) as an attractive investment destination. The report calls for the EAC Partner States to market EAC jointly, further consolidate free trade by eliminating individual State exemption lists, liberalize and allow...

28 September, 2019
East Africa exports to the US hit $1bn in the year to September 2018

East Africa exports to the US hit $1bn in the year to September 2018

Exports from East African countries to the US reached about $1 billion between October 2017 and September 2018, a 17 per cent increase from the same period the previous year. The United States Agency for International Development’s East Africa Trade and Investment Hub said apparel dominated the region’s sales at 84.4 per cent of exports. The Africa Growth and...

31 December, 2018
'Here's why the used clothing trade deserves more attention'

'Here's why the used clothing trade deserves more attention'

While friction over the ban of used clothing exports from the US to East Africa seems to have come to an end, some fundamental issues still remain, according to Shannon Brady and Sheng Lu from the University of Delaware. Their latest research throws up complex economic, social, legal and political factors linked with the trade in second-hand clothes and questions the...

11 December, 2018
Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

Hello, America! USAID, direct flights to increase AGOA exports to US

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Hub will from November 2018 to March 2019 provide direct support in the audit and Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) certification process. Already, USAID is helping companies in the East African region become more export competitive. WRAP is a minimum standard for social compliance where US textile and...

19 October, 2018
'US threats force EAC to back down on secondhand clothes ban' - Article

'US threats force EAC to back down on secondhand clothes ban' - Article

East African countries have backed down on their initial stand on banning the importation secondhand clothing. Instead they will use of tax measures and incentives to spur local manufacturing. During the EAC Heads of State retreat on infrastructure and health financing in Kampala, the EAC presidents resolved to prioritise the development of a competitive domestic textile...

24 February, 2018