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Comesa for fair trade

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The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission has reaffirmed its commitment to enforcing compliance to fair trading laws and protecting consumers in member countries.

Speaking at its 10th anniversary in Lilongwe, Comesa Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe said over the past 10 years, the Commission has intensified efforts for consumer protection.

“Competition regulation is an important aspect to guarantee well-functioning markets and facilitate the integration,” Kapwepwe said.

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Minister of Trade Simplex Chithyola Banda said Malawi will always support Comesa mission and adhere to its dictates.

“The country has always been active. Malawi has been contributing in works undertaken within the common market,” Chithyola Banda said.

Comesa Chief Executive Officer Willard Mwemba said preferential trade among Comesa member states is essential for reducing the cost of doing business.

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He said this translates into better prices of Comesa originating products and services.

“There are benefits in trade liberalisation but there are also risks of unfair business conduct and exploitation of consumers by unscrupulous businesses,” Mwemba said.

The celebrations brought together about 200 delegates from 21 countries.

Comesa member states are part to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)—the continent’s single biggest trading bloc aimed at bringing together all the 55 member states.

It would create a market of more than 1.3 billion people and a combined gross domestic product of up to US$3.4 trillion.

If fully implemented, the AfCFTA could leverage intra-African trade and increase trade among member states by up to 110 percent.

In addition, the AfCFTA could lift up to 30 million people out of extreme poverty and up to 68 million people out of moderate poverty.

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