NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 17 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) member states to focus on how to grow their economies rapidly through trade and improve the lives of their people.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of Source 21 COMESA business summit, Kenyatta also urged the member states to explore different products that they could trade with and encouraged them to trade amongst themselves.
“We need to come up with innovative and practical strategies to promote industrialization and enhance trade in our region,” Kenyatta said.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni also urged COMESA member states to integrate its highly fragmented market and follow in the footsteps of China which despite having a huge internal market, continues to pursue other markets.
“China has an internal market of 1.3 billion people, yet they are fighting for other markets. They are fighting with the US to get more market, yet we continue to be satisfied with a small market,” Museveni said.
In 2017, Intra-COMESA trade exports hit USD 7,914 from USD 7,757 in 2016.
In 2017, COMESA trade imports hit USD 8,243 a rise from USD 7,307 BACK IN 2016.
Kenya is currently holding the Source 21 COMESA International Trade Fair and High – Level Business Summit under the theme “The Hallmark of Quality”.
The summit also includes a presidential public-private round table where heads of states interact with business leaders on key strategies to enhance industry competitiveness and formulate strategies to enhance local sourcing and intra-regional trade.
The event has attracted members of the COMESA region aimed at increasing trade across Africa and to international states.