COMESA summit in Egypt to focus on free trade

Published May 17th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

An economic cooperation summit of the Common Market For Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) will open in Egypt at the end of May. Appropriately named “Free Trade Area: A Launch Into Investment”, the summit will facilitate discussions for furthering trade and investment interests between COMESA members.  


On the agenda will be the possibility of establishing a joint customs union, removing trade barriers to promote trade, and stimulating information technology, construction, and transportation cooperation between member nations, according to Xinhua News Agency.  


Last October, a free trade area (FTA) was established for the COMESA states, which stands as the first step towards creating a single currency zone as well as strengthening the COMESA trade community.  


Egypt hopes that it will be allowed greater access to the FTA in the future and has called upon the business community to further ties with its partners in Africa. Exports from Egypt to the COMESA last year reached $49 million.  


Twenty nations with a combined population of 380 million belong to the organization, which was founded in 1994. The combined GDP of the organization’s member countries stands at $170 billion. — (MENA Report)

© 2001 Mena Report (

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