Sunday, November 23, 2008

COMESA: CET to enhance interstate trade

Sat, Nov 22, 2008

The Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) is geared towards integrating its 19 member states into a customs union to enhance interstate trade in the region.

COMESA Director for Information Technology, Mr. Sherin Shoukry said the Union was expected to be in place by December this year.

This, Shoukry said, would see to it that member states economies were merged by integrating and unifying the current separate customs territories into one with a common external tariff (CET).

The establishment of a CET, he noted, would create a uniform but competitive tariff structure among the member states and the rest of the world whilst maintaining a zero tariff structure within the custom union.

Shoukry was delivering a key note address during a regional training review workshop at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel on Friday attended by representatives from 17 member countries.

He said the regional body was in the process of developing modern public procurement laws and regulations that seek to promote good governance in the management of public resources.

The Director added that a prototype regional procurement website intended to support the electronic dissemination of procurement opportunities and efficient management of the regional procurement system had been put in place.

He noted that a project to support legislative development at national level and provide technical assistance in the implementation of modern and harmonized public procurement had been completed.

Shoukry said the project was aimed at strengthening the institutional and human resource capacities through training which was needed to support and sustain good procurement practices at the national and COMESA levels.