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Regional Integration, A Solution to Free Trade in Africa COMESA Business Council

30 August 2010, The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

The President of the Swaziland Federation of Employers and Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Ambrose Dlamini, says that Regional Integration will help Africa overcome barriers of trade. Mr. Dlamini said that Africa with five regional economic communities envisions herself as net exporter of food to the global market.

“ Today we are a Region of 400 million people, dominated with Small and Medium Entrepreneurs, SME community and with a competitive advantage in Agricultural Development”,  This is why initiatives such as Comprehensive African Development Programme – CAADP, indicates the initiatives of the partner states to contribute 10% of the budgets to national Investment Plans in Agriculture” Mr. Dlamini Said.

Mr. Dlamini said that the region which was once known for its highest costs of transportation in the world, is slowly employing systems that reduce the cost of doing business.

“I take this opportunity to commend  COMESA and the East African Community- EAC,  for establishing One Stop boarder posts along the northern corridors as well as the various trade facilitation schemes that have eased trade flows in the region”,  Dlamini commended.

And COMESA Business Council President, Mr.   Said Omar Moussa, said that the outcome of the forum will create a foundation for a more dynamic, vibrant and  proactive private sector in the region.

“I visualize a more competitive, proactive, innovative, and imaginative business community who will get their acts together” He said.

He said that women entrepreneurs and other SMEs should take the leading role in conducting business in the COMESA region.

He added that the Business Forum is an initiative of the private sector to create a public - private dialogue on pertinent issues of economic development.“ it is in this spirit of joint effort towards integration that will guide the compass of our region into the direction of a stronger competitiveness and economic development of the region”, He concluded.

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