CAPMAS - File Photo
CAIRO, Nov 19 (MENA) - The volume of trade exchange between Egypt and fellow member states of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) hit dlrs 2.952 billion in 2018 compared with dlrs 2.233 billion in 2017, with an increase of 32.1 percent, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
In a report issued on Thursday on trade and economic ties between Egypt and the COMESA countries, CAPMAS said Egypt's exports to the COMESA states stood at dlrs 1.908 billion in 2018 compared with dlrs 1.628 billion in 2017 with an increase of 17.2 percent.
Egypt's imports from the COMESA states in 2018 hit dlrs 1.44 billion in 2018, compared to dlrs 605 million in 2017, with an increase of 72.6 percent.
The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is a free trade area with twenty-one member states stretching from Tunisia to Eswatini. COMESA was formed in December 1994, replacing a Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981. Nine of the member states formed a free trade area in 2000 (Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe), with Rwanda and Burundi joining the FTA in 2004, the Comoros and Libya in 2006, Seychelles in 2009 and Tunisia and Somalia in 2018.
COMESA is one of the pillars of the African Economic Community.
In 2008, COMESA agreed to an expanded free-trade zone including members of two other African trade blocs, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).