Regional bloc COMESA’s global trade rose by 15% to $205bn in 2022
COMESA's international and regional trade has experienced a notable upswing, with total exports to the world increasing by 15%, rising from $179 billion in 2021 to $205 billion in 2022. Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Sudan emerged as the top exporting countries within the COMESA region, collectively accounting for a remarkable 98% of fuel exports in 2022.
These findings were disclosed at the 39th Meeting of the COMESA Trade and Customs Meeting held in Mauritius. A report presented by the COMESA Secretariat on regional trade developments highlighted a 10% increase in the value of intra-COMESA total exports, climbing from $12.8 billion in 2021 to $14.1 billion in 2022.
This increase was driven by exports of various products, including sulfur of all types, cobalt oxides and hydroxides, palm oil, refined petroleum oil, urea, electric current, cotton, sulphuric acid, wheat flour, gold, and ammonia, among others. Most COMESA Member States reported growth in their intra-COMESA total export values for 2022, with the exception of DR Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Seychelles, which saw a decline in exports to the region.
According to trade statistics from 2019, the region holds the potential to increase intra-trade by an impressive $100 billion if all trade conducted outside of COMESA could be redirected toward the region. This suggests that even if just 50% of the current trade conducted outside of COMESA were shifted to the region, intra-regional trade could still expand by a substantial $50 billion. Experts have identified the need for a shift in mindset and practical approaches within the COMESA family to achieve this goal. He addressed a delegation of trade experts from member states, inviting them to engage in discussions on this ambitious course of action. The objective is to lay a robust foundation for the advancement of COMESA's regional trade and economic integration agenda.