E comesa newsletter-256


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Zambian Government Commends COMESA Court of Justice
China urged to explore investment opportunities in COMESA
Trade Information Desk to be Launched at Goma/Gisenyi
Committee of Legal Experts prepares ground for Ministerial Meeting
COMESA – ARIPO Cooperation to be strengthened
The Great Socialist Peoples’ Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is ready to ref

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E comesa newsletter-256

  1. 1. newsletter 1 Issue #256 --24th June 2010 2007 Issue #126 Friday 19 October newsletter China urged to explore investment opportunities in COMESA Ngwenya has previously Member States that join the Customs Union urged more Chinese will adopt an agreed Common External Tariff investment in the (CET) to be charged to third parties. manufacturing sector so that Africa can move The agreed CET rates are 0 percent on up the value chain and capital goods, 0 percent on raw materials, increase the incomes of 10 percent on intermediate goods and 25 its people while ensuring percent on finished goods. that less wealth is exported abroad. The policy will also determine revenue sharing amongst the Customs Union’s Trade between COMESA members. Countries and China has Ngwenya said that with its 19 Member also been growing by States, a population of 456 million and between 50 percent and annual imports valued at USD 32 billion and T 100 percent depending on exports of USD 82 billion, COMESA forms he Common Market for Eastern and the country, but on average by more than a major market place for both internal and Southern Africa (COMESA) Secretary- 50 percent annually, and by the end of 2008, external trading. General Sindiso Ngwenya on 22 China-Africa trade was approaching the USD The regional integration programme for June, 2010 urged China to enter into joint 100 billion mark, according to Ngwenya. COMESA Member States established a Free ventures with Africa’s largest regional trading Trade Area (FTA) in October 2000 and a and economic grouping to capitalise on the Ngwenya said the COMESA Customs Union Customs Union in 2009, and aims to establish Customs Union that was launched in 2009. presented immense opportunities for the a monetary union by 2015 and a common COMESA, boasting 19 Member States and Asian giant to deepen and consolidate market by 2025. a population of more than 400 million, is economic cooperation with Member endowed with vast natural and human States, most of whom have strong bilateral, The Customs Union was launched at the 13th resources that make it a fertile investment economic and political ties with China. China summit of the COMESA Heads of State and destination, Ngwenya said. has diplomatic relations with nearly all Government held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, African countries. in 2009, during which Zimbabwean President “With a combined population of 456 million Robert Mugabe assumed the rotational one- and a combined Gross Domestic Product of “So with Chinese investors increasingly year-chairmanship of the regional economic USD 450 billion, this region is very rich in looking for investment in Africa, we should, grouping. natural resources, rich in human resources as COMESA, make it a requirement for and land for agriculture. them to enter into joint ventures with our Meanwhile, Ngwenya said COMESA was companies to avoid backlash from our in the process of working out modalities “This region will therefore become the people who might feel disadvantaged,” to access the USD 1 billion China-Africa region of first choice for investment and Ngwenya said. Development Fund to benefit COMESA small has the potential to feed the whole world,” Among others, the COMESA Customs Union and medium entrepreneurs. Ngwenya told Xinhua in an interview. provides for easier trade among Members The creation of the fund was one of eight States and with other countries outside mechanisms for assisting African countries He said China should take COMESA as COMESA through harmonised trading unveiled by Chinese President Hu Jintao at its preferred investment destination and systems. the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation held increase trade with Africa’s largest trading in Beijing in November 2006. and economic grouping. This bulletin is published by the COMESA Secretariat Public Relations Unit but does not necessarily represent views of the Secretariat. For Feedback: pr@comesa.int Contact Address : COMESA SECRETARIAT, COMESA Center , Ben Bella Road P.O. Box 30015, 260 1 229 725, 260 1 225 107 www.comesa.int www.comesa.int, e.COMESA@comesa.int
  2. 2. ZAMBIAN GOVERNMENT COMMENDS COMESA COURT OF JUSTICE T he Zambian government has 2 commended the Common Market and Southern Africa (COMESA) for establishing the COMESA Court of Justice for it helps in solving trade related problems in the COMESA region. This was said by the Zambian Vice President Hon. George Kunda, who also happens to be the Minister of Justice, in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Justice Minister Mr. Tood Chilembo. This was said during the official opening of the 14th Meeting of the Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General held at the COMESA Secretariat from the 24th to25th June 2010. “I therefore call upon you Ministers of said. Justice and the Attorneys General to Hon. Kunda applauded the Preferential address your minds to ways in which The SG also said that COMESA is also Trade Area ( PTA), who are the you can facilitate their domestication at making progress in the realization founding fathers of COMESA, for the national level and also ensure their of the tripartite Free Trade Area honouring Zambia to host the COMESA compliance and remember that, its only that will bring together the three secretariat. through the signing and ratification regional grouping of Southern Africa “ When the founding fathers of the of the legal instruments which you Development Community (SADC), Preferential Trade Area ( PTA) for East will adopt, that will guarantee success East Africa Community(EAC) and the and Southern Africa, the predecessor of regional integration”, Hon. Kunda Common Market for East and Southern of COMESA founded the organisation, echoed. Africa (COMESA). it pleased them to grant the republic of Zambia the honour of hosting Hon Kunda further urged them to Mr. Ngwenya said that this will result the secretariat and the Zambian create strong linkages between regional in the establishment of a Grand Free Government and its people accepted and national programmes to effectively Trade Area – GFTA, from Cape Town to with humility the trust and honour ensure compliance of COMESA Cairo and thereafter a single Customs entrusted to us ”, Hon. Kunda said. programmes at national levels. Union. The Vice President further said that the Speaking at the same meeting, meeting which is intended to address COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Mr. Ngwenya said that the need for the legal issues in the COMESA economic Ngwenya stressed that the committee legal committee in the transformation integration Agenda, will play a major on legal matters is the most important to the Grand Free Trade Area will role in the development of legal in the COMESA regional integration be required because many legal instruments such as the Treaty that process because legal framework is instruments will have to be changed established the Economic integration the foundation of an effective and in order to allow the harmonization of Agenda and other COMESA institutions productive integration Agenda with programmes. like the COMESA Court of Justice and important milestones like the Customs the PTA Bank. Union and the Free Trade Area. The meeting was expected to discuss Mr. Ngwenya said that COMESA has the following issues among others: Hon. Kunda said that the law in general committed itself to the deepening of • The Renewal of terms of judges plays an important role in regional integration efforts as reflected by the of the court which has expired. integration because it guides Member launching of the Customs Union last • The establishment of the States in upholding good governance as year 2009 in Zimbabwe, based on the COMESA Court of Justice in Sudan. enshrined in the provisions of Article 6 legal instruments adopted. • Inclusion of the Arabic of the COMESA Treaty. language as one of the COMESA “We are now in the process of moving Languages. He reiterated the need for the Ministers towards the full implementation of the • The Draft COMESA harmonised of Justice and Attorneys General to Customs Union because of the legal Consumer Price Indices Regulation. develop regional jurisprudence for instruments like the Council regulations • The Revised COMESA Common regional development with a focus on on the Customs Union and the customs Statistical Rules and Regulation the needs of the people at the grass management regulations”, Ngwenya root levels. www.comesa.int
  3. 3. Committee of Legal Experts prepares TRADE INFORMATION DESK TO BE LAUNCHED AT GOMA/ ground for Ministerial Meeting GISENYI 3 C OMESA, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Trade Mark Southern Africa, will launch two Trade Information Desks (TID) at the border of Goma and Gisenyi in July 2010. The information desks are in response to the recommendations by traders during cross- border fora by Trading for Peace at various border posts, including Goma, and between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda, in July 2008. The main objective of the TID is to facilitate and support small-scale traders with information related to their everyday issues and answers to the problems they face at the border and/or in trading, through enhancing existing relationships between T traders and service providers at border he 15th Meeting of the for COMESA trade activities with areas. In addition, the TIDs will provide various documents containing information, Committee of Legal Experts the Arab world. such as the COMESA Certificate of Origin, the was held at the COMESA Simplified Customs Document, SPS standards and Non-tariff Barriers, information on Conference Centre in Lusaka, The COMESA Court of Justice transport, accommodation, commodity Zambia on 21-23 June 2010. The issues on the agenda included the prices, etc. meeting took place ahead of the consideration of the report on The launch of the TIDs follows a call by regional Ministerial meeting of the status of court’s permanent Rwandan President Paul Kagame for trade Ministers of Justice and Attorneys’ structure in Sudan, the renewal of between Rwanda and DRC to be enhanced. It also follows a decision by the 9th Meeting General scheduled for 24-25 June contracts for the Judges’ tenure of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which 2010. and administrative issues. was held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in June 2009, ahead of the 13th Summit of the COMESA Authority of Heads of States and The Acting Secretary General, The meeting looked at the Government. The COMESA Ministers of Mr. Stephen Karangizi, officially updated report on the status of Foreign Affairs comprise the major organ opened the meeting. He the signed and ratified COMESA that deals with issues of peace and security in the COMESA region. At their meeting in acknowledged that COMESA as an instruments which will assist in Victoria Falls, they requested the COMESA organisation, was growing in leaps assessing progress of the regional Secretariat to start preparing for a third phase of the Trade for Peace Project. and bounds evidenced by the integration programme. A similar desk was installed in January participation of legal experts. He 2009 at the Kasumbalesa border between noted that as part of the Agenda In their deliberations, the meeting DRC and Zambia and it has reported a lot of positive results with respect to the meeting should once again addressed the progress made in providing small-scale traders with relevant amend and improve COMESA the COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite information. Laws and Regulations to be in negotiations. The launch, scheduled for 16 July 2010, is tandem with the broader regional expected to be attended by high profile integration agenda. The recommendations from the government officials, both from the DRC and Rwanda. COMESA is using the launch of meeting were submitted to the these Information Desks to commemorate Some important issues on the COMESA Ministers of Justice the Year of Peace. The year 2010 was declared the Year of Peace and Security agenda included the proposed that took place on 24-25 June for the continent on 31 August 2009 by amendment of the COMESA 2010. The Ministers give policy the Heads of State and Government of the Treaty aimed at introducing Arabic guidelines that will be taken to the African Union (AU) on the occasion of the Special Session on the Consideration of as the fourth working language COMESA Policy Organs meetings the Resolution of Conflict in Africa, held in of COMESA for the Arab speaking and Summit scheduled for Tripoli, Libya. members and trade partners. Mr. August 2010 in Swaziland for final A football tournament between Goma and Karangizi added that this will in decision on implementation. Gisenyi is also planned as part of the launch, turn open and increase the market with the view to commemorate 2010, as the African Year of Peace and Security www.comesa.int
  4. 4. COMESA – ARIPO Cooperation to be strengthened I n the margins of the meeting of the COMESA intends to mainstream IP in all information and documents on activities 4 Committee on Trade and Customs, COMESA programmes and activities, and by the respective organisations; work COMESA held a successful meeting that it was encouraging that ARIPO has plans to form the basis for planning and with the African Regional Intellectual shown interest in attending the COMESA implementation of joint activities; and Property Organisation (ARIPO) at the Policy Organs meetings scheduled representation in meetings. ARIPO Headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe for August 2010, under the theme of on 18 June 2010. The objective of this “Harnessing Science and Technology for On immediate activities, ARIPO indicated meeting was to revive and strengthen the Regional Integration”. that it will attend the COMESA Policy Cooperation Agreement between the two Organs meetings to be held in Swaziland institutions as an important step towards The meeting extensively analysed the in August 2010 whereas COMESA the implementation of the COMESA current Cooperation Agreement signed in indicated that it will attend the ARIPO Intellectual Property and Cultural Rights March 2002. It was noted that the current Diplomatic Conference to be held in Policy. Agreement does not appropriately reflect Namibia in August 2010. In addition, the ARIPO’s mandate on industrial property two organisations will jointly organise The ARIPO Director General, Mr. Gift and copyright matters, the COMESA vision a meeting of IP experts to discuss the COMESA Work Programme on Sibanda who welcomed the COMESA and emerging IP issues. The meeting implementation of the COMESA IP Policy. delegation, thanked COMESA for it’s elaborated a new Agreement which the Further, they will jointly undertake an decision to revive the ARIPO-COMESA two organisations will review further. audit of IP policies, laws and institutions Cooperation Agreement for the benefit of in Member States and undertake studies the people of the region. Some of the areas of collaboration on the contribution of IP to the national identified include: creation of favourable economies. Similarly, The COMESA Director of Trade, investment climate through protection of Customs and Monetary Affairs,, Dr. Francis intellectual property; support services to It was agreed that another meeting be Mangeni, expressed gratitude on the Research and Development institutions; convened before November 2010 to interest shown by ARIPO to collaborate capacity building; promotion of traditional discuss and agree on the annual activities with COMESA in the implementation of knowledge, expressions of folklore which will be submitted to the respective the COMESA IP Policy. He pointed out that and genetic resources; exchange of organisations’ decision-making bodies. The Great Socialist Peoples’ Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is ready to reform A senior official of the Great Jimahiriya for its active participation in COMESA systems were essential for the achievement announced that Libya prided itself programmes since joining the COMESA Free of government missions and that good in pursuing progressive trade Trade Area in Year 2005. and modernised procurement systems liberalisation policies and in having an were crucial to the effectiveness of public open procurement regime that was non- For regional integration to work effectively, spending and investment. Equally crucial was discriminatory. the Great Jimahiriya was encouraged to the need for the Great Jimahiriya to align In his opening remarks at the opening of ensure that the following COMESA-wide its procurement systems to the COMESA the Awareness and Sensitisation Workshop Customs Union supportive activities are Procurement Directives and the COMESA organised by the COMESA Enhancing given urgent attention: Regional Procurement Regulations which are Procurement Reforms and Capacity Project all key founding instruments of the regional (EPRCP), held in Tripoli, Libya on 6 -7 June (i) Adoption and implementation of procurement market. 2010, the under Secretary of the General the COMESA Tariff Nomenclature Some key recommendations that came out People’s Committee (Ministry) for Industry, (CTN) and the Common External of the Workshop were: Economy and Trade, Engineer Lutif Musbah Tariff (CET); Hajrsi welcomed COMESA’s efforts in (ii) Submission of sensitive list of 1) Organise more information sharing engaging with Libya to facilitate rapid products which should be excluded workshops. The workshop requested economic integration. from the CET; the COMESA Secretariat to organise (iii) Production of tariff alignments a regional workshop, in Libya in Engineer Hajrsi stressed that the Great schedules that require the matching the beginning of 2011, on COMESA Jamahiriya remains committed to the wider of national tariff structures against Procurement system in order to give vision of integrating Africa within the context the COMESA CET; and finally opportunity toMember States to share of the African Union charter, which was (iv) Domesticatiion provisions of the their experiences and best practices. consistent with the long-held vision of the Regional Trade Policy including 2) A body responsible for public Leader of the Great Jimahiriya, Muammar those of the Council Regulations procurement be established in the Gaddaffi, which is to integrate Africa, Governing the Customs Union and Great Jamahiriya. politically and economically. the Common Market Customs 3) The Great Jamahiriya sends a group Management Regulations. of experts to participate in the 4th In the opening statement in which Mr. Colas Technical Committee meeting on Ziki represented the COMESA Secretary On procurement reforms, it was noted that Procurement which will be held in the General, the Great Jimahiriya was praised efficient and effective public procurement Kingdom of Swaziland. www.comesa.int