The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has signed an agreement with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) aimed at implementing trade facilitating project in the regional bloc, a spokesperson said on Saturday.
The co-delegation agreement involves two components, namely the design and development of national and regional trade information portals and the customs automation regional center.
COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe and UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi signed the agreement which is worth about 3 million Euros, Mwangi Gakunga, COMESA Head of Corporate Communications said in a statement.
He said the trade facilitation program will facilitate easy access to essential trade information in one platform while the customs automation regional center will support technical and functional training on the automated system for customs data world platform.
The COMESA secretary general expressed optimism that the agreement will go a long in facilitating trade improvement in the region.
She said UNCTAD’s experience and expertise in promoting trade facilitation and capacity in modernizing customs administrations will be of great help to COMESA.
On his part, the UNCTAD secretary-general, said the engine of regional integration and the deepening integration through trade was largely dependent on the success of COMESA, a regional body with the largest member states and a very substantial component of the African economy.
“In no way are we going to downplay the centrality facilitated in trade, not only as a way of making Africa competitive but also overcoming challenges particularly of landlocked countries on the continent which face the daunting task in competitively trading with the rest of the world,” he said. Enditem