The Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry has emphasized the Urgent need for Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member countries to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area as the deadline has advanced.
The Tripartite ministers set April 2019 as the deadline for ratification of the agreement during a meeting in cape town last year.
Commerce Trade and Industry Minister Christopher Yaluma says 93 percent of the of the work on rules of origin has been completed and says it provides a basis for trading to begin.
Mr. Yaluma has also noted that most countries are ready as some of those involved in the discussions are using COMESA or SADC FTA acquis adding that all that is left is introducing a column for goods originating from other tripartite countries in the Tariff books.
He says “it is worth noting that 8 tripartite countries have ratified the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, but not the Tripartite Agreement. This requires urgent action, because it should have entered into force by now as it is ready for implementation.”
“Within just a year of signing it, on 31st March 2018 in Kigali, we are on the edge of seeing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area enter into force, as there is only one more ratification required in order for the agreement to enter into force.” The Minister says.
He was speaking when he opened the seventh extraordinary meeting of the COMESA intergovernmental committee in Lusaka today.
Speaking at the same event, COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe has made known her commitment to addressing causes of operational and internal Gaps in the institution.
Ms. Kapwepwe says her goal is to shift the focus of the COMESA policy organs engagement from administrative programs to implementation issues.
MONEY FM IS ZAMBIA’S FIRST AND ONLY BUSINESS & PERSONAL FINANCE RADIO STATION. WE FOCUS ON BUSINESS AND MONEY-RELATED TOPICS, AS WELL AS GENERAL NEWS AND DISCUSSION OF WIDER SOCIAL TOPICS SUCH AS HEALTH, EDUCATION, FOOD, MUSIC, FITNESS AND MORE