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EU, COMESA sign 13.5m euros cross border trade initiative

THE European Union and COMESA have signed a 13.5 million euros financial agreement for Cross Border Trade Initiative.

The financial grant which EU presented to COMESA was complementary to the sizeable development programmes provided by the EU to Zambia and Malawi in many sectors such as infrastructure, trade, private sector development, agriculture, good governance and fight against climate change.

Speaking during a signing ceremony at Mwami border on Tuesday, EU ambassador to Zambia and COMESA Alesndaro Mariani said EU attaches the
highest importance to regional economic integration.

“The agreement we are signing today (Tuesday) has a value of 13.5 million Euros, which is equivalent to approximately K160 million or
MK12 billion and is part of a total envelope of EUR85 million allocated directly to COMESA for the period 2014-2020. This financial support from the EU is entirely in the form of grants,” ambassador Mariani said.

COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya called for an end to bureaucratic tendencies in regional integration process.

“The role of all the border agencies, immigration, customs is simply to facilitate trade but not to control because if you control then you will have consequences,” Ngwenya said.

He said regional integration was about knowing what happens on the ground.

Ngwenya said development was about doing things that were practical.

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