COMESA: call for launch in Tunisia of mega incubator and business hub for women entrepreneurs
30/09/2022 18:10, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Representatives of the National Chamber of Women Entrepreneurs (CNFCE), COMESA General Secretariat, COMESA Business Council (CBC) and COMFWB agreed to launch in Tunisia a mega incubator and business hub for women entrepreneurs from Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member countries.

As part of the Tunis declaration read out by President of the CNFCE Leila Belkhiria Jaber at the closing of the International Conference "COMESA Tunisia Business Women Days", held on September 29 and 30, 2022, in Tunis, participants also agreed to launch the «Made in COMESA» standard, stressing the need to promote a label of trust linking local professionals in member countries.

They spoke of the possibility of drawing on the Tunisian experience in terms of standardization and product testing to set up a public-private standardization and quality control body which will possibly be funded by the COMESA.

Representatives of the private sector expressed their support for the organization of trade fairs in the countries of the North African sub-region, in a bid to improve mutual access to respective markets, sharing expertise and possibly create joint ventures covering this area.

The Tunis Declaration also called for creating a favorable environment for the private sector so as to take full advantage of the common market and boost cooperation among business organisations in COMESA member countries.

Representatives of CNFCE, COMESA General Secretariat, COMESA Business Council (CBC), and COMFWB, expressed their commitment to work together to strengthen regional integration and provide effective cooperation in the areas of trade promotion, industry and private sector development.

Speaking at the closing of the conference, Minister of Trade and Export Development Fadhila Rebhi called on stakeholders (UTICA, CNCFE, GIZ, and COMESA members) to hold this event every two years. The goal is to monitor the progress of the COMESA market within the framework of biennial meetings that will represent a platform of exchange between women entrepreneurs.

She added that COMESA as a buoyant and wealth-creating market will help women entrepreneurs to establish new win-win and fruitful partnerships.

Held by the German Cooperation in Tunisia (GIZ) in partnership with the CNFCE and the Ministry of Trade and Export Development, the International Conference "COMESA Tunisia Business Women Days" brings together 21 countries from the East and the South.

It seeks to introduce women entrepreneurs to the opportunities and programmes offered by COMESA in terms of facilitating trade and movement between countries as well as customs advantages.

Tunisia's trade with COMESA member countries reached around 3,250 million dinars in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020.

Tunisia had become member of COMESA in 2018. The organisation is made up of 21 African member States which all agreed to promote regional integration through trade and the development of natural and human resources.

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