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India, COMESA To Discuss Possible FTA

by Lorys Charalambous, Tax-News.com, Cyprus

10 August 2012


The 19-nation Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and a delegation from the Indian Government recently met in Lusaka, within a joint study group, to discuss a possible COMESA/India free trade agreement (FTA), as a follow up to the signing of their memorandum of understanding (MOU) in February 2003.

While COMESA’s Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya pointed to the cooperation that COMESA has enjoyed with India in various ways over the last ten years, the Joint Secretary in the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry Depinder Singh Dhesi revealed that India would now concentrate on the COMESA/India joint study group to speed up the possible implementation of an FTA or a Preferential Trade Agreement.

“India decided to start dialogue with COMESA, and not any other (regional economic community) in Africa, because it is the largest economic grouping whose results are very visible even from outside Africa,” Dhesi added. “I am proud to say that this (FTA) initiative is the first on the African continent.”

He concluded that “it should be a win-win situation, and so there is need to get the relevant information and reach a common understanding” so that an early harvest list of goods for reduced tariffs can be decided.

TAGS: tax | free trade agreement (FTA) | Djibouti | Eritrea | India | Mauritius | Swaziland | Zimbabwe | law | tariffs | Comoros | Ethiopia | Libya | Madagascar | Malawi | Sudan | memorandum of understanding (MOU) | Congo, Democratic Republic of the | Egypt | Kenya | Rwanda | Uganda | Zambia | import duty | trade | Burundi | Seychelles

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