Ministers act to speed up regional integration


06-September-2012

 

The ministers, other delegates and World Bank representative at the close of the two-day meeting

These include elimination of barriers to trade in goods, promotion of trade in services, and improvement of business regulatory environment.

A number of immediate actions have also been identified to be taken in the next quarter which will hopefully lead to a clear roadmap for the removal of constraints to trade and investment over the next few years.
 
Focal persons at the national level of each country will be designated to form part of a coordination working group (CWG), which will be responsible for compiling the technical inputs from national stakeholders and dialogue with the other countries.
 
The CWG will consult at least every quarter and the ministerial committee every six months.

At the end of the meeting, all present agreed on a document to send to the World Bank, which will in turn get them budget support and also help with updating relevant regulations.

The delegates came from Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Zambia and had been meeting at the Northolme Hilton resort with a view to launch the Accelerated Programme for Economic Integration.

The meeting took place under the chairmanship of Seychelles and was supported by the World Bank.
 
Among those present were the minister of business from Mauritius and the ministers of finance from Malawi and Seychelles.

Speaking to Seychelles Nation, the director general for policy, strategy and investment Rupert Siméon said the move comes after recommendations of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).

“SADC and Comesa recommended that some like-minded countries group together to speed up the process of regional integration,” he said.

“And one of the ways we can increase trade is to analyse the barriers we face such as tariffs.”

He added that the meeting also served to gain and exchange information, especially from the more advanced countries taking part in the meeting.

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