Eighty delegates from the 26 Tripartite Member COMESA-EAC-SADC countries are currently discussing a draft negotiating text on the Movement of Business Persons in the region at Le Méridien Hotel, in Pointe aux Piments, northern Mauritius, PANA reported from here.
One Mauritian Government official said the issue of movement of business persons is very important to Mauritius with regard to its regional integration process.
“The mobility of business persons is a key factor of free and open trade. Facilitating access to our businessmen to move in the region provides benefits in terms of reduced delays, costs and burdensome administrative procedures, thereby leading to more efficient flow of goods, services, capital and people,” he observed.
According to him, without an appropriate framework on the movement of business persons, the benefits of regional integration would be undermined.
PANA reports that the first COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Summit, held in October 2008 in Uganda, took major decisions in terms of moving towards a single market.
One of the immediate priorities is to establish an enlarged Free Trade Area (FTA) encompassing the 26 Member States of COMESA, SADC and EAC. The Summit also agreed that negotiations to facilitate the movement of business persons should run parallel with the negotiations on the Tripartite FTA, but on a separate track.