Tunisia will begin its trade with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member States by late 2019, Trade Minister Omar Behi said Wednesday at a high-level workshop on the practicalities for Tunisia’s adherence to the COMESA.
He noted that a list of products to be exported towards the COMESA is under preparation by a committee gathering the private sector and the different representatives of the concerned Tunisian ministries.
This list that includes a variety of agricultural, processed and industrial products will be sent to the COMESA in Lusaka next October, to be ratified during the council of the member States’ trade ministers due in November, the minister went on saying.
“Once this list is approved, we will agree on the products to benefit from an exemption from customs duties and those to benefit from tariff dismantling, he indicated, asserting that the advantage of this integration for Tunisia consists in the fact that our products and that of the COMESA Member States are complementary, notably in the agricultural field, which will facilitate the marketing of our products.”
In turn, COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe highlighted the importance of Tunisia’s adherence to this big market among the 21 countries that counts over 500 million consumers.
“This adherence will offer Tunisia important trade opportunities, will help it make the most of customs advantages, to conquer new markets through the COMESA and conclude tripartite partnership agreements.”
Tunisia officially became the 20th member of the COMESA on July 2018, during the Summit of Heads of State and Governments of Member Countries held in Lusaka (Zambia).