Sunday, November 23, 2008

Comesa bloc postpones launch of customs union

November 19, 2008

The planned launch of a customs union for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), by next month, has officially been postponed as members States looked to an even bigger market arrangement.

“The postponement of the summit takes into account the need to begin the process of implementing the task force decision of the Sadc-EAC-Comesa tripartite summit in Uganda in October regarding the harmonisation of Free Trade Areas (FTAs) and Common External Tariffs (CET) among the three regional economic communities (RECs),” the secretariat said in a statement.

The customs union was scheduled to be formally launched during the 13th summit of the 19-member trading bloc which was to take place in the resort town of Victoria Falls beginning November 25.

Comesa secretary-general, Sindiso Ngwenya, however, said the postponement would not affect the ongoing preparations of the customs union, adding that the break period would be used to fast-track the harmonisation process and complete consultations.