COMESA, FIATA sign MoU to improve trade

THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) to improve the management of trade logistics in the region.
The two parties will optimise their respective strengths to facilitate trade and improve the supply chains and delivery and management of goods and services through more efficient, safer and sustainable logistics.
COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya (right) and FIATA senior vice-president Basil Pieterson signed on behalf of their respective organisations, according to a statement issued on Friday.
“The focus of this co-operation will be on work programmes that will identify priorities and define actions for the joint implementation of projects and activities of common interest,” Mr Ngwenya said.
He said this will be achieved by arranging necessary logistical and coordinating mechanisms and creating procedures for periodic review of the applicable implementation arrangements of projects.
The areas of collaboration stipulated in the MoU include FIATA’s support to the efforts of COMESA’s free trade area (FTA) implementation as well as the negotiations for the continental FTA within the field of freight and logistics services.
FIATA, which is a non-governmental organisation representing the freight forwarding and logistics service providers’ industry covering about 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms, will provide input on key policy items through the African association members.
Under the agreement, FIATA will assist in developing the Regional Logistics Harmonized Standards, in particular, the border crossing procedures in COMESA.
The parties will also engage in information sharing and promotion of new joint initiatives to raise awareness to the public and private stakeholders on issues related to trade logistics.
It was also agreed that FIATA will make recommendations to COMESA on key investments pertaining to the improvement of the free flow of goods and services, development of infrastructure projects and promoting trade facilitation in specific COMESA countries.

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