Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Egypt: The Tripartite Summit of the biggest three African economic blocs has concluded

The Tripartite Summit of the biggest three African economic blocs has concluded in the Ugandan Capital of Kampala on October 24th, 2008. The Summit has started at the beginning of last week and gathered 26 African countries members of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the East African Community (EAC). The Minister of State for Economic Development, Dr. Othman Mohammed Othman represented President Mubarak in the summit.

Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry stated that the summit is the first of the sort; as it reflects the current orientation within the African Continent to give the priority to economic cooperation and integration among the African blocs, in order to strengthen the African economic unity, to boost the status of the African countries, and to treat the commercial and economic marginalization from which Africa is suffering commercially and economically worldwide.

The Spokesman added that the summit aimed at deepening regional integration, promoting movement of intra-regional trade and businessmen, and determining the necessary preparations to launch a unified free-trade zone between the three blocs. Furthermore, The summit aimed at finding means to support and enable the African countries to face the challenges posed by the current international financial crisis, and consolidate the African stance in the economic partnership negotiations between Africa and the EU.

The Spokesman outlined that the summit adopted a resolution, as well as an understanding memorandum, on enhancing economic integration, which will lead to a common African market. A final communiqué was issued asserting the importance of launching a free-trade zone gathering the three blocs, and the importance of crystallizing a road map to reach this end. The communiqué determined the time schedules to cooperate in the fields of infrastructure, communications, and energy among other key developmental fields.

The Spokesman stated that the Egyptian delegation participated effectively in the summit's meetings, where the Egyptian expertise was presented on the comprehensive development in general and economic development in particular, in addition to the realistic time schedules needed to establish the free-trade zone and the basics needed to support free movement of trade and business men, as well as means to implement and follow up the conclusions of the tripartite summit in the future.

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