Trade liberalization without enhanced production is a recipe for disaster

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Trade liberalization without enhanced production is a recipe for disaster, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Southern Africa regional director Said Adejumobi has observed.
Speaking at the official opening of the Ad-hoc Expert Group Meeting (AEGM) on “Deepening Regional Integration in Southern Africa: The Role, Prospects and Progress of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), Adejumobi said without production, trade and market liberalization is meaningless.
A developmental approach to regional integration was adopted by the TFTA anchored on three main pillars namely; market integration, industrial and infrastructure development.
Adejumobi said the industrial pillar seeks to boost the productive capacity of member-states, promote value addition and benefication, and enhance economic diversification.
He said the infrastructure component is aimed at easing the challenge of doing business, and allowing the free flow of goods and services.
“The TFTA (apart from the CFTA) represents the most ambitious attempt at integrating African economies in creating a free trade area for 26 African countries of 632 million people, representing 51 percent of Africa’s GDP and constituted by three regional economic communities-COMESA, SADC and the EAC”, Adejumobi added.
Adejumobi also noted that the TFTA provided the architecture of development that would be crucial in realizing the aspirations of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.