FTA to expand market for Zimbabwe goods – Ncube

JOHANNESBURG – Industry and Commerce Minister Welshman Ncube says if negotiations for the Common Market for East and Southern Africa – East African Community – South African Development Corporation Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) are successfully completed, Zimbabwean goods and commodities will find greater markets on the continent.

In an interview with the The Zimbabwe Mail ahead of the Second Tripartite Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, on the 12th of June, Professor Welshman Ncube said successful negotiations will usher in greater regional integration and a larger market for Zimbabwean goods and commodities and will also lead to improved trade performance and competitiveness for the Southern African region.

“If Zimbabwean industry increases capacity markets will be guaranteed. Industry needs to take advantage of the opportunities that will be opened up,” said Professor Ncube.

He said time frames will be agreed on the 10th of June after which formal negotiations among the 26 countries will commence.

“General convergence has been achieved among member states with regards to the principles, scope and institutional arrangements of the Tripartite FTA negotiations,” he said.

Other issues on the Second Tripartite Summit agenda will include a review of progress since 2008 and formal adoption of the Draft Tripartite Vision and Strategy.

The historic First Tripartite Summit was held in Kampala, Uganda, in 2008 and the Second Tripartite Summit will bring together Heads of State and Government to discuss regional economic integration for accelerated,