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A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) last week, to work on the design and implementation of trade-related technical assistance across the 19-country trade bloc.

The signing of the MOU signifies the two organisation’s commitment to cooperate in areas such as regional integration, trade facilitation, improving competitiveness and enhancing the trade and investment climate.

ITC executive director Arancha González and Comesa Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya signed the MOU on behalf of their organisations in Geneva, Switzerland.

“We intend to use the partnership as a key component to increase the quality of products and improve productivity,” Ngwenya said.

“Expanding intra-African trade holds the key to growth in African countries,” said ITC executive director, Arancha González, speaking at the signing last week.

According to González, ITC’s partnership with Comesa was particularly important for the region’s smaller economies, whose prospects would improve as regional integration created larger markets and more opportunities for regional value chains.

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