E Comesa Newsletter 193

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The COMESA newsletter reports on 2nd COMESA Investment held at
the Fairmont Hotel, Cairo, Egypt
Wednesday ( 25th March 2009)

Published in: Business, Economy & Finance
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E Comesa Newsletter 193

  1. 1. newsletter 1 newsletter Issue #193 27th February 2009 2007 Issue #126 - Friday 19 October Opportunities for Investment still exist despite Economic Melt down - Ngwenya of Investment Dr George Buaring, Uganda’s Minister of State for Tourism, Trade and Industry Gagawala Nelson Wambuzi, Malawi’s Deputy Minister of Trade and industry Ellock Noatcha Banda, and Zambia’s Deputy Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry Richard Taima, The PTA bank President Dr Michael Gondwe also attended. Other COMESA institutions that were reprented are The Africa from left: Mahmoud Mohieldin, Sindiso Ngwenya, Gagawala Nelson Wambuzi, Dr George Buaring and Richard Taima answering Trade Insurance agency (ATI) and the questions from the audience T he COMESA Secretary COMESA Clearing House markets, I would like to strongly General Mr Sindiso Ngwenya believe that there are still numerous has declared that the Mr Ngwenya pointed out that what opportunities for attracting COMESA region still has a lot of is needed by individual countries and investment within the current investment opportunities, Economic collectively, the COMESA region is economic climate” Mr Ngwenya told Melt down not withstanding. He to ensure that the right policies are the 400 hundred delegates. announced this at the just ended in place so as to attract investment 2nd COMESA Investment held at “ we need to put in place sound The Conference was organized by the Fairmont Hotel, Cairo, Egypt macro-economic policies that would the COMESA Regional Investment Wednesday ( 25th March 2009) not scare investors away. This Agency, under the patronage of “Even though the world’s major to page 2 Egyptian Ministry of Investment. economies like the United States, The COMESA’s Europe and Japan may have Secretary General entered into a recession ( variously Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya referred to as the “economic melt- also addressed the down”, “the great crush”, etc), as meetings. It was exemplified by factory closures, job attended by over losses, the credit crunch and the 400 delegates general financial crisis besetting from the region the rich nations, with its spiral including The effect on developing and emerging Sudanese Minister www.comesa.int
  2. 2. from page 1 of December 2008, intra-regional Opportunities for Investment still exist trade amounted to well-over 7.6 billion USD. This is a market which despite Economic Melt down - Ngwenya is still growing, especially as we 2 move closer to the declaration of a means that we have to have the right where we have seen that quite a COMESA Customs Union later in the foreign exchange policies, the right sizable number of Kenyan firms year” said Mr Ngwenya. “The regional fiscal and monetary policies and an have moved into Uganda, Tanzania market will be further consolidated overall economic environment that and Rwanda to invest in light once even a larger trading block is is competitive enough to be able manufacturing plants, agriculture established based on the Tripartite to attract investment to our region” and tourism. The same can be Summit decision of Kampala said Mr Ngwenya. said of Mauritius whose companies October 2008, which envisions the have a presence in Madagascar establishment of one regional trading He noted that the region is endowed and the Seychelles, as well as in block comprising COMESA, the with rich natural resources which Mozambique. East African Community (EAC) and remain largely unexploited. These the Southern African Development include rich virgin land, soils, Mr Ngwenya further pointed out Community (SADC)” he added, noting underground and surface water, that Egypt in particular has been that over time this will lead to: speed minerals and energy resources, to a big investor in a number of up the regional integration agenda; mention only but a few. “ Hence, in COMESA countries “In the case of create a larger regional market ;open spite of the current global recession, Egypt, we have also seen a number up the investment space; harmonise there are still great opportunities of Egyptian firms taking a keen investment policies; and improve for investing in the COMESA interest in countries south of the business environment in the region region. There ample opportunities Sahara, including countries such still for investing in such areas as as Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Secretary General Ngwenya infrastructure projects in roads, Zambia. “A classical example is concluded by giving his interpretation ports, rail and mass transit, that of El Sweedy, cable and motor of the Theme of the conference and sustainable energy (wind, solar, manufacturing company, which the expected results . geothermal, carbon-capture and has set up a manufacturing plant sequestration, and long-distance in Zambia to take advantage of the “The theme for this Conference is: power transmission grids), pollution abundant copper resources as its “Paving the road to COMESA.” I control, and water and sanitation. raw material” he pointed out. would like to understand this to mean Other areas include the agriculture, that we should as a region, acting mining and tourism sectors, as well Secretary General Ngwenya collectively, to create conditions as the telecommunication sector” reminded the gathering of some that are conducive to attracting Secretary General Ngwenya pointed achievements by COMESA including investment, both domestic and out. the COMESA established a Free foreign, to the COMESA region. Trade Area in the year 200 that Literally speaking, we should be able He informed the gathering that has provided investors with a huge to pave or construct a road that is already, there is an increasing regional market. “Currently, there visible to potential investors that they trend for companies based in are 15 member States who belong don’t have to go elsewhere. This no one COMESA country to invest in to the FTA offering a market of over doubt is a major challenge that out another COMESA country or other 400 million people and a combined region faces up to the present time” neighbours. Adding that this is regional GDP in excess of 18billion he concluded. particularly the case in East Africa United States Dollars. By the end www.comesa.int
  3. 3. In order to realize a growth rate of 7%, COMESA states must attract investments of not less than 3 25% of GDP, Mahmoud Mohieldin General Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya also stated Mohieldin. addressed the meetings. It was attended by over 400 delegates Mohieldin noted that these from the region including The challenges stress the importance Sudanese Minister of Investment of regional cooperation among Dr George Buaring, Uganda’s COMESA countries and Africa Minister of State for Tourism, in general in order to overcome Trade and Industry Gagawala their negative effects, saying that Nelson Wambuzi, Malawi’s COMESA states can participate Deputy Minister of Trade and in luring big investments through industry Ellock Noatcha Banda, which higher rates of growth and and Zambia’s Deputy Minister of employment would be realized. Commerce Trade and Industry Minister of Investment reviewed Richard Taima, The PTA bank major fields through which the Mahmoud Mohieldin President Dr Michael Gondwe COMESA states can achieve E gyptian Minister of also attended. Other COMESA joint cooperation by liberating Investment Mahmoud institutions that were reprented trade, developing infrastructure Mohieldin has stressed are The Africa Trade Iinsurance and promoting investment based the importance of COMESA agency (ATI) and the COMESA on technology thus stabilizing Countries working together to Clearing House. A number economic growth. jointly attract investment, noting heads of investment authorities that in order to realize a growth in COMESA states, prominent The Minister affirmed that in rate of 7%, COMESA states must investors, businessmen, order to implement this vision, attract investments of not less leading investment companies, an agenda must be put in than 25% of domestic product banks and representatives to place for the COMESA states through luring more foreign direct ministries and government bodies based on a number of axes investment (FDI). He stressed participated at the Conference.. such as, development of trade, the importance of investing in In his remarks Minister Mohieldin investment, infrastructure, ICT, and human resources in reviewed the major challenges dependence on science and view to increase the region’s r facing international economy technology. “Integration and productivity skills. in light of repercussions and cooperation must be realized Minister Mohieldin said this impacts of the global financial in all political, economic and while inaugurated the Second crisis on COMESA states. “This commercial fields in order to COMESA Investor Conference, crisis was of serious impact on implement this agenda,” revealed held at the Fairmont Hotel, Cairo, economies, minimized investment Mohieldin. Egypt Wednesday ( 25th March opportunities and growth and 2009) decreased shares in the world The Minister said that Egypt trade volume, particularly in supports the attraction of The Conference was organized by view of the increasing changes investments to COMESA states, the COMESA Regional Investment of international market towards as a result he instructed the Agency, under the patronage of eliminating barriers and obstacles Egyptian General Authority Egyptian Ministry of Investment. hindering movement of trading, for Investment and Free Zones The COMESA’s Secretary services and share capital,” (GAFI) to urge COMESA states www.comesa.int
  4. 4. COMESA to launch In order to realize a growth rate of 7%, COMESA states.... REPSS very soon from page 3 African countries, 4 to participate in its foreign C including COMESA promotion missions and make OMESA will launch the single Regional states, enjoy promising Payment and Settlement System coordination among COMESA opportunities in all (REPSS) in the coming 2 moths. This was states for the sake of collective fields of investment, announced by the Executive Secretary of the promotion for investment across particularly agricultural COMESA Clearing house Dr Kombo Moyana at the the world countries. investment. In just ended 2nd COMESA Investment conference addition, they stressed that too place in Cairo Egypt . He explained to Before inauguration of the the meeting that the money transfer system will the importance of conference, Investment Minister reduces the time, and taxation that were being benefiting from Egypt’s held a separate meeting with all incurred as a result of routing money transfers great potentials and the Ministers that attended the within the region through the US and Western experience in this Conference, COMESA Secretary European banks. It will also reduce interest sector. General and Representative of that accrue to transactions such as those on COMESA specialized institutions. overdrafts. Furthermore, COMESA During the meeting, Ministers It will see the business of clearing money ministers and officials of Investment stressed the conducted between 24-48 hours and will carry expressed gratitude to importance of cooperation charges of between 1% - 4% of the total amount President Mubarak and transferred as opposed to the international between COMESA states in Egyptian government charges that go up to 10%. the fields of investment and for backing all initiatives In addition the money transacted will remain trade, noting that attraction of calling for increasing within the COMESA countries since the investments to them is important investments in Africa transaction will go through the National Central in order to withstand the global and achieving the banks. The Central Banks will be linked to a financial crisis and realize the central REPSS clearing house headquartered inter-African economic necessary growth for their at the Central Bank of Mauritius with back ups in cooperation, referring economies. South Africa, and Harare in Zimbabwe. to Egypt’s historical Dr. Kambo J. Moyana said money transfers and constant role in At the same meeting Minister will be through SWIFT and XML standards. supporting Africa on all Mohieldin announced that Egypt ferring to the current economic meltdown that political and economic will host the second Africa-China has come about as aresult of western banks levels. Summit “Egypt will host the that mismanaged savings, Dr Moyana told the In addition, ministers second summit of African-Chinese gathering that the COMESA REPSS system will and representatives of relations, as it represents an be much secure since it is guaranteed by Central COMESA states held banks, “ you cannot get any more security than opportunity for showing various separate meetings that provided by the Central bank” he assured the fields of investment in Africa,” with Egyptian investors audience. announced Mohieldin. The and companies “ the current system where we have to go though Minister added that it was agreed operating in the fields the US central banks is affected by among other with China, during the previous of construction, food thing geographical factors such as time zones. conference, to establish five industries, tourism Whereas the farthest distance in the COMESA investment zones in Africa. region is a difference of about 3 hours, the and financial services On their turn, COMESA ministers difference between us and the US is at time to discus available and officials noted that Egypt minus seven hours. So when you are open they investment fields plays a key role in Africa as closed and when you are closed they are open, in their respective it is the gate of Africa for the this effects transaction time at time taking countries and the foreign world in the investment as long as a week to receive your payment, COMESA region as a and trade fields. They said that therefore increasing transaction cost, interest whole rates etc” said Dr Moyane www.comesa.int

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