Common Market safe from Import restriction Imports ban a safeguard measure: Bimha
ZIMBABWE does not have a trade dispute with South Africa following a decision by authorities to bar imports of basic food products from its southern neighbour, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha has said.
“These are just safeguard measures,” Bimha told reporters on Monday at a Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries meeting in Bulawayo, southeast of the capital.
“We met with the South Africans last week and advised them of our position, these are bilateral issues, there are no problems at all and we will
for Eastern and Southern Africa sets out the foundation for the development of competition policy in the Common Market.
Article 55(1) specifically requires member states to continue to talk.”
Zimbabwe announced a ban on imports of various goods in June, including cosmetics, cereals, cheese, canned goods and furniture, saying it needed to develop local industries.
“South Africa has the requirement that all pharmaceutical products destined for that country be transported by air and not by road, but when their products come here they use roads, which is cheaper,” Bimha said. “We are taking back our jobs and they must understand that.” — Bloomberg
prescribe conduct that has the effect of negating free and liberalised trade within the Common Market, which is the principal objective of the regional competition policy.
To realise this objective, the Comesa Treaty provides in Article 55(3) that the “Council shall make regulations to regulate competition within the Member States”.
In compliance with this Article, Comesa has adopted a regional competition policy through the publication of the Comesa Competition Regulations which are supplemented by the Comesa Competition Rules.
“With the increasingly transnational character of competition cases, a holistic regional competition regime is essential to overcome the enforcement gap of the traditionally territorial scope of national competition laws.
“National authorities are increasingly being called upon to protect consumers from anti-competitive conduct originating outside their jurisdiction. Consumers on the market are a largely unorganised group, with little bargaining power, poor knowledge of their rights and the avenues for enforcing these rights are even more challenging in the context of an open market economy,” said Mr Lipimile.
In this context, the necessity for effective regional competition policy and more importantly, regional cooperation on competition policy, cannot therefore be wished away.
Mr Lipimile commenting on the notion that competition authorities are the stumbling block on business transactions, said competition authorities have a role to play in facilitating business transactions rather than frustrating them.
He said before a business transaction is approved the Commission undergoes a massive consultative programme to ascertain the intricate details of any transaction.
“Competition authorities are not there to injure business transactions but it’s our duty to make sure business transactions sail through in a competitive manner. Remember the Comesa is also working together with member States in trying to improve investment levels in the economic bloc.
“Governments have been the biggest drivers of uncompetitive business environments across the region. Rather they are the ones who are at the forefront of stifling competition’’, said Mr Lipimile.
“Competition has been stifled by Governments mostly due to imposition of bans on certain products, excessive licences required to start a business and the amounts required for someone to start a business.”