Africa Business Communities
COMESA launches trade in services portal to support online negotiations

COMESA launches trade in services portal to support online negotiations

COMESA has launched a Trade in Services Portal to facilitate online negotiation of offers and requests between Member States under the COMESA trade in services liberalization programme.

The launch was conducted during the 44th Meeting of the COMESA Council of Ministers in Lusaka, Zambia.

The portal provides tools to ensure the technical quality of the offers being made and exchanged are transparent and confidentiality in information sharing. It also provides messaging tools for users to interact safely and support the provision of trade in services data collected from all Member States.

The need to develop the portal followed the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted travels and curtailed the ability to organise physical meetings. Subsequently, COMESA Secretariat requested for technical assistance from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) on capacity building in Trade in Services to help speed up negotiations and to harmonize the Trade in Services processes at regional and continental level which was granted.

The platform has been customized for the COMESA region to support and compliment the ongoing negotiations on Trade in Services. Specifically, it will enhance preparation for negotiations by providing a tool to assist Member States representatives to create and edit offers that are of a high technical quality efficiently.

It will also facilitate negotiation of sector specific commitments digitally to complement physical negotiations and minimise delays and better coordination.

“The platform is not meant to replace, but rather to support and enhance physical trade in services negotiations,” COMESA Secretary General Chileshe Kapwepwe said at the launch and assured that it will be hosted on the Secretariat’s servers to ensure its security and confidentiality.


Share this article