The Independent (Kampala)

8 November 2012

East Africa: State to Host 16th Comesa Summit

The government of Uganda is in advanced stages of hosting the 16th Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) head of states and governments meeting.

The high profile meeting which will be preceded by the COMESA Policy Organs meeting is being organized under the theme, "Enhancing Intra-COMESA Trade through Small and Medium Enterprise Development, and will run from Nov. 13-24 at the Speke Resort Beach Munyonyo Hotel in Kampala.

With 19 member states and a combined population of about 390 million, the COMESA trade bloc remains one of Uganda's most important trade partners. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda's balance of trade with its regional partners has been favourable since 2007.

Uganda is a founder member of COMESA and the treaty establishing the regional trade was signed in Kampala in November 1993, with its main objective being the forging of a large economic and trading community that is capable of overcoming some of the barriers faced by individual member states.

This will be the second time Uganda is hosting the summit, the first having taken place eight years ago.

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