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Date Modified: 30/03/2017 06:41:56
TRADE FACILITATION AND REGIONAL INTERGRATION AGENDA- Dr. F.Mangeni, COMESA
Facilitating trade requires reduction of the number, and simplification of the complexity, of documentation for exporting and importing goods; shortening of time spent at border crossings for goods vehicles and persons; publication and easy access to information and applicable rules; use of tested international best practices in management of border operations; and efficient border customs, standards, environmental, immigration, and statistical agencies that address constraints faced by importers, exporters and logistics people.
As a matter of fact, the cost of doing business in Africa is high, in contrast to other regions, and this has significantly contributed to the perceived unattractiveness of Africa: 8 documents to export, 9 documents to import, 31 days to export, 37 days to import, $1,990 to export a 20ft container, $2,567 to import a 20ft container; figures twice or three times those of some other regions of the world.13 And for this reason, improving the business environment in order to reduce the cost of doing business has been an important priority, for governments at home, and acting jointly within the framework of regional economic communities. Within the framework of regional economic integration, in the Common Market or Eastern and Southern Africa for instance, trade facilitation has consistently been a key priority, both in terms of overarching programs and of specific projects.
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