Successful Export Results: Expanding Intra-African Trade

International Trade Forum, October-December 1995 | Go to article overview

Successful Export Results: Expanding Intra-African Trade


In August this year a buyer-seller meeting for textiles and clothing took place in Lusaka to explore trading opportunities in this sector for enterprises in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Over a period of four days, 34 companies selected from 11 African countries held business negotiations for developing long-term commercial relationships, on the basis of complementary business interest revealed through supply and demand surveys undertaken in conjunction with ITC. At the end of the meeting import and export orders valued at over $US 1 million were concluded. In addition a number of cooperation agreements for production, distribution and marketing were signed.

This buyer-seller meeting formed part of a programme entitled "COMESA Trade Development and Promotion Programme" that ITC is implementing with the COMESA Secretariat. The programme aims at identifying, in a systematic and methodological manner, trading opportunities in the subregion and bringing potential trading partners together from different COMESA member states who could take advantage of these opportunities.

The Lusaka event was the twenty-second buyer-seller meeting that ITC has organized over the last ten years in the African region. It is estimated that over $500 million in new intra-African trade has been generated as a result. The success of this trade promotion concept, developed and implemented by ITC, can be attributed to its targeted approach, combining trade flow analysis at product level with practical advice to individual enterprises, in a region in which intraregional trade was previously virtually nonexistent. …

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