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Aswan to host 34th edition of ICSOE for North Africa

The meeting will mainly engage with the practicalities of a continental free trade agreement between 49 African Union member states

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Nov 2019
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Egypt’s Ministry of Planning signed Monday an agreement with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Egypt’s arrangements for hosting the 34th edition of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE) for North Africa, to be held in Aswan, 25-28 November 2019.

Minister of Planning Hala El-Said announced that the 2019 ICSOE will convene under the title, “The African Continental Free Trade Area and Employment: Impact for North Africa of enhanced trade facilitation and regional integration.”

El-Said clarified that the African continental free trade agreement includes the removal of tariffs for 90 percent of tariff lines, which contributes to lowering the prices of goods and the flow of trade in goods and services.

The event will include a meeting of the ad hoc group of experts that will be held 25-26 November.

The event will be attended by the member countries of the ECA: Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Mauritania, as well as a number of UN agencies, governmental and non-governmental organisations, UN representatives and development partners in North Africa.

Participants will be discussing the economic context in North Africa, as well as regional integration and job creation issues.

The ICSOE is an annual meeting of member country representatives and high-level experts. Its recommendations are presented at the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

The 53rd ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development will be held 18-24 March 2020.

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is a trade agreement between 49 African Union (AU) member states. It was signed in Rwanda in March 2018.

The idea of a continental free trade agreement was proposed during the 18th AU Summit, which was held in January 2012 in Addis Ababa, in order to promote intra-African trade.

The agreement aims to remove tariff restrictions on intra-African trade.

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