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Tripartite offers opportunity to simplify regional integration says Seychelles Foreign Minister

Tripartite offers opportunity to simplify regional integration says Seychelles Foreign Minister (Forimmediaterelease.net) The Seychelles Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jean-Paul Adam, has called for focus and simplification in the creation of the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area.

Speaking at the second gathering of the Tripartite Council of Ministers in Johannesburg, South Africa on the 10th June, Minister Adam expressed his concern that progress in the formation of the FTA may be hampered by parallel objectives which, though equally important, should not detract from the primary goal of the Tripartite of creating a unified, more open regional market for trade.

“We are on the verge of something momentous and we must ensure that while we are trying to achieve many things at the same time, we must focus on what can bring most benefit to all states. For us to succeed, and in the interest of expediency, we must focus on some key areas, particularly those that we can finalise easily and quickly like trade in goods," said the Minister.

He also added that one of the most important benefits of the FTA and the pursuit of greater regional integration is to minimise the administrative burden of member states which currently participate in more than one regional economic community (RECs), particularly those who suffer from human resources constraints.

“We must bear in mind the capacity of the member states, particularly when member states are members of several RECs and many of the things need to be done simultaneously; we must avoid the multiplicity of meetings. The Tripartite offers us the opportunity to simplify everything," added the Minister.

Seychelles is currently a member of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) FTA and is in the process of acceding to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) FTA. The formation of a unified FTA through the Tripartite would merge the areas and therefore ease issues of duplication and facilitate operations.

The Ministerial meeting took place in the lead-up to the Tripartite Summit of Heads of State where the Vice President, Mr. Danny Faure, is leading the Seychelles delegation.

MEDIA CONTACT: Alain St. Ange, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, Email: alain.s@seychelles.com

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