Services in COMESA

An Industry Perspective: Integrating the Voice of Business in Policy

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This joint ITC–CBC paper provides a regional overview of services sectors and services trade for COMESA, drawing attention to opportunities for growth and regional integration – analyses data for four key services subsectors (travel, transport, communication and financial and insurance services), and provides Services Snapshots for each COMESA member. The paper maps business and professional services associations in COMESA services industries and identifies the major challenges faced by services stakeholders; examines the option of developing a COMESA Regional Services Industries Group (RSIG) as a positive step towards a coordinated platform for overcoming the growth challenges to provide a better business environment for services industries in the COMESA region.




Services matter for economic growth and development. In most non-oil-producing sub-Saharan African countries, the services sector now makes up the largest part of the economy and, as countries develop, the importance of the services sector tends to rise further. Services represent the fastest growing sector of the global economy accounting for about 70% of global GDP, one third of global employment and approximately 20% of global trade measured in gross terms, but 42% of global trade measured in value added terms. The performance of the services sector in developing countries during the past decade has had positive impact on national competitiveness, income growth, employment and poverty reduction in both urban and rural areas.


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