PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says solidarity and unity of purpose will help the region realise meaningful benefits from several arrangements at the international level that have so far eluded the citizens.
He has therefore called on leaders to take firm decisions regarding the stalled WTO negotiations and provide leadership and direction for the remainder of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations.
He added that trade preferences alone are inadequate to address the development challenges that the region face. EPAs must, therefore, offer more than just trade preferences.
â€œThe EPAs must induce increased economic activity and sustainable development for the region, the Prime Minister said. We cannot continue to be sources of raw materials and commodities for industrial development in the north. We cannot continue to produce what we do not consume and consume what we do not produce,â€
He revealed that the top priority for Zimbabwe will be the opportunities presented in the Comesa region because of the favourable trading terms and conditions developed by the organisation over the past decade.
Specifically, he said Zimbabwe looks forward to playing its part within the Comesa region. Currently, Zimbabwe is only utilising less than 20% of its installed national capacity in all sectors and as it seeks to engineer its recovery and to restore utilisation of its productive capacity, the country will be looking for opportunities elsewhere in the region.
Tsvangirai was further gratified to note that non tariff barriers to trade, which have the capacity to threaten the smooth flow of goods across the borders, are being reported and negotiated, through an NTB Monitoring and Reporting System that also covers Sadc and EAC. â€“ Comesa.int