Policy & Advocacy Services in COMESA – An Industry Perspective
Services in COMESA – An Industry PerspectiveThe COMESA Business Council as the Consultative Committee of the Business Community is authorized by the COMESA Treaty to provide a link and facilitate dialogue between the business community as well as other Organs of the Common Market (Article 18). The Treaty states that "Member States shall endeavor to adopt programmes to strengthen and promote the role of the private sector as an effective force for the development, progress and reconstruction of their respective economies". This is intended, among other purposes, to ensure:
Services matter for economic growth and development. In most non-oil-producing sub-Saharan African countries, the services sector now makes up the largest part of the economy and, as countries develop, the importance of the services sector tends to rise further. Services represent the fastest growing sector of the global economy accounting for about 70% of global GDP, one third of global employment and approximately 20% of global trade measured in gross terms, but 42% of global trade measured in value added terms. The performance of the services sector in developing countries during the past decade has had positive impact on national competitiveness, income growth, employment and poverty reduction in both urban and rural areas.
Trade in services is an increasingly important part of the trade of developing countries and in COMESA countries in particular. The services sector accounts for a substantial share of domestic output (typically around 50% of GDP), thus outpacing the traditional manufacturing and agriculture sectors, in most of the COMESA member countries. Services infrastructure provides vital inputs to manufacturing and agriculture and can help promote growth and development throughout the economy. Tourism and transport are leading export sectors in COMESA. The share of trade in services in total trade of goods and services is conventionally reported as around 20%, but in reality, trade in services is much larger than is suggested by trade statistics. As the COMESA economy becomes increasingly integrated into regional and global value chains, services and services trade will play a more important role in the growth strategy of the region.
The report offers regional data for tourism, transport, finance and telecommunications; ‘services snapshots’ for each COMESA country; and a roadmap to promote stronger regional trade.