Sunday, November 23, 2008

Plan for Comesa customs union suffers setback

November 18, 2008

Plans by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) to establish a customs union by the end of the year have suffered a setback after Zimbabwe deferred a summit that was to seal the deal.

A statement from Harare said the summit had been called off due to ongoing talks on the harmonisation of various trade pacts between the East African Community and Comesa members.

It was the second time that Zimbabwe postponed hosting the summit that was initially scheduled for May but was suspended after a disputed election in which President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF lost to the opposition MDC.

Zimbabwe’s decision to suspend the summit is expected to culminate into an emergency meeting of the Comesa Council of Ministers whose decision will determine whether the customs union initiative will meet the December 2008 deadline.