South Africa to host the Second Tripartite Summit of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)

The South African Government will host the Second Tripartite Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled to take place on 12 June 2011 at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.

The summit’s objectives are to formally launch the Tripartite Free Trade Area (T-FTA) negotiations between the 26 member countries of the three Regional Economic Communities (REC) – namely, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The T-FTA provides for the creation of a larger, integrated market with a combined Gross Domestic Product of about $625 billion and a combined population of approximately 700 million.

The Summit will give further impetus on infrastructure development, supporting industrial development and diversification to build production capacity among the member states in order to take advantage of a larger more open regional market.

The first Tripartite Summit that was held on 22 October 2008 in Kampala, Uganda agreed on a programme of harmonisation of trading arrangements amongst the three RECs (COMESA-EAC-SADC), free movement of business persons, joint implementation of inter-regional infrastructure programmes as well as institutional arrangements on the basis of which the three RECs would foster cooperation.

The summit also aims to build on the improved economic development prospects and potential in Africa; promote social and economic development; reduce poverty and inequality; deepen integration to compete more effectively in the global economy.

For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO on 082 884 5974 or Mr Sidwell Medupe, Director: Media Liaison for the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI) on 079 492 1774.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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02 June 2011

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