President Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera is leading a Malawi delegation at the 22nd Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) Heads of State and Government Summit, which is taking place at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka, Zambia.
Chakwera departed the Kamuzu International Airport this morning to attend the day-long conference, which is themed: “Economic Integration for a Thriving COMESA Anchored on Green investment, Value Addition and Tourism”.
The summit has attracted close to 3, 000 delegates from all member states and is categorized in three conventions namely; 18th meeting of COMESA Ministers of Foreign Affairs held on Tuesday, the COMESA Business Forum and, the Heads of State and Government.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has disclosed that Chakwera will take advantage of the conference to consolidate Malawi’s position and opportunities within the trade bloc.
Among others, President Chakwera has travelled with business captains and senior government officials on a tour that is destined to strike bankable trade deals.
COMESA is a free trade area established in 1993, replacing the then Preferential Trade Area that existed from 1981. The main intention at formation was to have a large economic and trading bloc that would eliminate some of the trade barriers put in place by individual states.
Among some notable benefits for Malawi in COMESA is the access to wider markets and infrastructure that supports that trade admittance.
For instance, COMESA formed part of a consortium that funded the construction and operationalization of the Mchinji – Mwami One Stop Border Post. This project promotes Malawi’s export agenda by removing logistical challenges for local businesses doing cross-border trade with Zambia and the entire region