COMESA, Czech Establish Diplomatic Ties

Lusaka, Monday, May 7, 2018: Member States of COMESA are expected to benefit from Czech expertise in strategic areas following the establishment of ties with the regional bloc and five-member States. This follows the accreditation of H.E. Mr. Radek Rubeš as Special Representative of the Czech Republic to COMESA, Monday, June 7, 2018.

Mr. Rubeš is also the new Ambassador of Czech to Zambia following the establishment of the country’s embassy in Lusaka, in 2017. Egypt, Kenya, Libya and Tunisia are the other four COMESA countries with diplomatic ties with Czech Republic (now renamed Czechia).

COMESA Secretary General cited the strategic areas earmarked for collaboration to include; infrastructure development, chemical production, pharmaceuticals, information communication technology, science and technology (software development), nanotechnology and agriculture.

“Our import bill as COMESA on pharmaceuticals alone stands at 25 billion dollars annually and as the tripartite (COMESA, East African Community and Southern Africa Development Community) stands at 72 billion dollars,” Mr Ngwenya said.

He said the primary focus of engagement will be on how to attract Czech investors to the COMESA region targeting high value industries. He noted Czech investment were not significant in the region at the moment.

Presenting his letter of Credence to the Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya Ambassador Rubeš said:

“Today’s accreditation is proof that both parties have the vision of cooperation and our side, we will use every possibility to do so. We in the Czech Republic are ready to use all means of cooperation with COMESA and its member States to promote trade, good practices and in general friendship based on firm rules.”

The Czech Republic has in recent years experienced a constant GDP growth of about $200 billion, about $37,000 per capita, with low unemployment of 2.9% and domestic debt of 35% of GDP. The growth poles are in services (62%) industry (35%) with big engineering companies. There is also a strong mining industry, chemistry, food processing, software industry such as the Avast antivirus.

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