Egypt will participate in the Tenth Meeting of the Trade Negotiations Forum with three African blocs scheduled to take place in Burundi this October.
The announcement was made by Saeed Abdullah, Chairman of the Trade Agreements and Foreign Trade Sector at the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It will see Egypt talk to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC), and East African Community (EAC).
The Forum’s goals include finalising negotiations on the draft free trade agreement items which will come into force for these blocs. It will also include adopting technical work group reports in the fields of customs cooperation, trade, dispute settlement, and rule of origin.
The Forum is also intended to research developments in negotiations among member states on tariff reductions and adopting an executive roadmap after signing the draft free trade agreement. The announcement of the first stage negotiations results is also set to be adopted during the Forum.
Abdullah said that the results of the meeting will be sent to senior officials and then onto a ministerial committee for approval.
He added that a meeting was also held surrounding non-tariff barriers for COMESA last week in Kenya. A presentation was given by UNCTAD on non-tariff barriers and non-tariff measures, while another focused on classifying non-tariff barriers in COMESA. A third presentation discussed the impact of non-tariff barriers on COMESA, and a study of the minimum criteria necessary cross-border trade was also presented.
He said the meeting produced many results, the most important of which included the adoption and execution of minimum standards for small merchants interacting across borders, which will be adopted by member states and added in Arabic to the non-tariff barriers site.