Some 250 delegates, representing 26 countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), have met at Pointe aux Piments, northern Mauritius, to harmonize the trade regimes of member nations, PANA reported Wednesday.
The Tripartite initiative aims to harmonize the trade regimes of the COMESA, EAC and SADC through the establishment of an enlarged Free Trade Area (FTA).
The objective of the Tripartite FTA is to achieve a larger market with a single economic space which will make it more attractive to investment and large-scale production.
Address the one-day Tripartite Ministerial Committee on Trade and Industry the Mauritian Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade Minister, Arvin Boolell, said the initiative would open the window to re-think regional integration which also requires adopting policy reforms to stimulate economic growth as well as accelerate economic transformation.
“The tripartite initiative is of high relevance to small island economies like Mauritius and Seychelles,” he said.
Boolell observed that with the specific characteristics of Small Island Developing States such as physical isolation, geographical dispersion, small domestic markets, dependence on few exports products, the tripartite framework is viewed as an appropriate initiative that will help in sustaining their level of exports.
“Island States will undeniably benefit from the maritime corridor currently being developed under the Indian Ocean Commission framework which will thereafter link mainland Africa,” he further stated.