Zimbabwe: Govt Okays Comesa Free Trade Deal

11 December 2019

Government has approved the ratification of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa-East African Community-Sadc Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement which will create various economic opportunities for the country.

The Comesa-EAC-Sadc TFTA brings together 29 countries with a combined population of over 632 million and a GDP of over US$1,3 trillion.

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet approved the ratification during a media briefing of the 44th Cabinet Meeting Decision Matrix.

"Cabinet considered and approved the Ratification of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) Agreement, which the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (Ziyambi Ziyambi) presented as Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation," she said.

"The TFTA brings together combined membership of COMESA, EAC and SADC under a single free trade area, thereby addressing the challenge of multiple membership and boosting intra-regional trade and economic development among Member States.

"The TFTA seeks to achieve the following objectives, inter-alia: to promote economic and social development of the Tripartite region, to create a large single market with free movement of goods and services in order to promote intra-regional trade and to enhance the regional and continental integration processes."

She said the TFTA was half of the AU membership and brought a number of opportunities for member States.

"Such a market naturally creates opportunities for economies of scale for producers of various goods and services in the Tripartite region," Minister Mutsvangwa said.

"Zimbabwe stands to benefit immensely from membership of the TFTA. The country will no longer be restricted to the production of traditional goods and, instead, will become the hub for new manufacturing operations that serve wider markets. The country will substantially reduce the cost of doing business and thereby radically transform its industrial processes and models."

Government has been pushing for establishment of ties with countries and organisations across the world to create opportunities for the country's businesses in line with the engagement and re-engagement agenda.

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