Comesa policy organs meeting begins

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THE 19-member Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) will this week hold a series of meetings to review the implementation status of programmes it was implementing this year.

by BUSINESS REPORTER

“The meetings will review the status of implementation of the Comesa programmes for 2015, key among them is the trade liberalisation and facilitation programmes. Under this programme are the Comesa Free Trade Area, the simplified trade regime, the Tripartite Free Trade Area, the Continental Free Trade Area, the Customs Union and the Single Customs Territory,” the regional body said in a statement.

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Other programmes to come under the spotlight during the meetings include the Economic and Trade Research, Transport Transit Facilitation, Trade in Services, Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Negotiations and Comes-India Relations. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, Education, Science and Technology, Regional Payment and Settlement System (REPSS), the Regional Customs Transit Guarantee Scheme and the third party insurance scheme (the yellow card) will also come under discussion.

The administrative and budget Committee was the first meeting yesterday and today.

The Inter-governmental committee (IC) which comprises permanent secretaries and principal secretaries in ministries that implement Comesa programmes in member states will meet from.

The IC will consider reports from sectoral technical group and updates on the status of implementation of the policy decisions taken during the last Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in March 2015. Policy recommendations arising from the IC meetings will be presented to the Council of Ministers on December 7 and 8 2015, for decision-making.

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