Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi underlined the importance of giving momentum to economic integration in order to promote prosperity of African people and enhance peace and security in the continent.
He said Egypt assumed the presidency of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) two years ago which was a critical period witnessing important international and regional developments.
Addressing the 22nd COMESA Summit in Zambia Thursday 8/6/2023, he said Egypt focused during its COMESA presidency on key objectives including promoting African economic integration and enhancing peace and security in the continent.
He voiced happiness over participating in the event which is being held under the slogan "Economic Integration for a Thriving COMESA Anchored on Green Investment, Value Addition and Tourism."
He voiced deep appreciation to the Zambian president for his hospitality.
President Sisi shed light on notable achievements made throughout the past two years in the economic development domain, noting that Egypt had attached great significance to activating the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and maintaining its harmony with the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA), which comprises the COMESA, Southern African Development Community (SADC) and East African Community (EAC).
Thanks to Egypt’s efforts during its presidency of the economic bloc, the intra-COMESA exports has reached dollars 13 billion in 2022, the highest in value since the inception of the Free Trade Area within the framework of the COMESA in 2000, Sisi said.
Also, trade exchange between Egypt and COMESA member states in 2022 has recorded its highest volume since Egypt joined the bloc, reaching dollars 4.3 billion, he added.
The president highlighted an initiative introduced by Egypt on regional industrial integration, within the framework of COMESA manufacturing strategy (2016-2017), which seeks promoting the industrial production through improving the regional value chains.
President Sisi hailed the role of the COMESA Regional Investment Agency, which is hosted by Egypt, with a view to luring investments to COMESA member states, urging directing further investments to the industrial sector.