Egypt hosting COMESA, SADC, EAC free trade agreement launch

Trade and Industry Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said Egypt is hosting the launch of the free trade agreement between the three largest African blocs, which are the COMESA, the SADC and the EAC, in Sharm El-Sheikh on June 10, with the participation of leaders of 26 African countries.
He added that international organizations, including the World Trade Organization, the African Union, the UNCTAD, the UNECA, the World Customs Organization and the African Development Bank are also attending the event.
The minister pointed out that the agreement marks a new stage of economic and commercial cooperation between the member states by lifting trade restrictions and barriers for that large consumer market of 625 million people, which accounts for 62 percent of the total African trade.
He also said the agreement will boost foreign investments in roads and ports to accommodate the new trade movement.
Abdel Nour explained that the agreement will provide equal treatment of local products, abolish import and export duties and take measures to combat dumping and countervailing duties.
He also said the agreement will boost Egyptian exports of engineering products, clothing, textiles, chemical products, furniture and agricultural products, adding that exports to these countries before the new agreement reached $2.7 billion in 2013 against $0.8 billion in imports, achieving a surplus of $1.9 billion for Egypt.
The agreement recognizes the rights and obligations of the signatories to the World Trade Organization in terms of technical barriers to trade and the application of phytosanitary measures. 

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