Comesa re­ceives $3.1m in merger fil­ing fees

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Se­nior Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Comesa Com­pe­ti­tion Com­mis­sion has re­ceived over $3.1 mil­lion dol­lars in merger fill­ing fees be­tween last De­cem­ber and Oc­to­ber 2016.

Comesa said this had been re­vealed at the trad­ing bloc’s on-go­ing 19th Sum­mit and Pol­icy Or­gans Meet­ing in Mada­gas­car. The sum­mit be­gan on Oc­to­ber 10 and will cul­mi­nate with the Heads of States Sum­mit to­day and to­mor­row.

It is hoped that out of the more than $3.1 mil­lion in ex­cess of $1.5 mil­lion dol­lars will be al­lo­cated to rel­e­vant com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­i­ties in des­ig­nated mem­ber coun­tries.

Ac­cord­ing to the com­mis­sion’s per­for­mance brief pre­sented to the Coun­cil of Min­is­ters meet­ing in Mada­gas­car at the on-go­ing 19th Comesa Sum­mit and Pol­icy Or­gans Meet­ing, the Com­mis­sion as­sessed 24 merger cases as at July 2016.

More than 70 per­cent of the merg­ers re­ceived were in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor with the rest in con­struc­tion, in­sur­ance, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, en­ergy and agri­cul­ture. A ma­jor­ity of the merg­ers as­sessed in 2016 af­fected Kenya, Zam­bia, Mau­ri­tius, Zim­babwe, and Uganda.

“The case of Zam­bia and Kenya may be ex­plained by the fact that their economies are rel­a­tively large and have out­ward look­ing poli­cies, which pro­vides a con­ducive en­vi­ron­ment for busi­nesses in­clud­ing at­tract­ing for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment,” said the com­mis­sion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Ge­orge Lip­im­ile.With re­gard to Mau­ri­tius, most of the firms op­er­at­ing in the Com­mon Mar­ket have their hold­ing par­ents in Mau­ri­tius.

Egypt and Ethiopia are among the largest economies in Comesa, de­spite record­ing rel­a­tively less cross-bor­der merg­ers af­fect­ing them. This can be at­trib­uted to their economies be­ing gen­er­ally in-ward look­ing with ro­bust lo­cal firms which merge among them­selves.

“Re­gard­ing the promi­nence of merg­ers in the ser­vice sec­tor, this may be at­trib­uted to the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion ef­forts of the Com­mon Mar­ket in mov­ing from the tra­di­tional trade in goods to­wards trade in ser­vices.

“It may also be at­trib­uted to the emer­gence of a mid­dle class in most of economies in the Comesa,” it said.

The Com­mis­sion re­tains 50 per­cent of the Com­mon Mar­ket merger fil­ing fees and dis­trib­utes the re­main­ing 50 per­cent among the rel­e­vant com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­i­ties in the des­ig­nated mem­ber States. The share of the Com­mon Mar­ket merger fil­ing fees for each rel­e­vant com­pe­ti­tion author­ity in the des­ig­nated mem­ber State is pro­por­tional to the value of the turnover in each State rel­a­tive to the to­tal value of the turnover in the com­mon mar­ket.

The Com­mis­sion in­tends to in­ten­sify its tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and ca­pac­ity build­ing in mem­ber coun­tries with par­tic­u­lar fo­cus on the train­ing of the na­tional com­pe­ti­tion au­thor­i­ties on the en­force­ment of the reg­u­la­tions.

“Our fo­cus in 2017 shall be on ad­vo­cacy in or­der to sen­si­tise na­tional gov­ern­ments and other stake­hold­ers on the pro­vi­sions of the Reg­u­la­tions and the need for do­mes­ti­ca­tion of the Comesa Treaty and Reg­u­la­tions,” said Mr Lip­im­ile.

Mean­while, the Comesa Coun­cil of Min­is­ters has adopted the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Medium Term Strate­gic Plan for 2016– 2020.The plan is ex­pected to con­trib­ute to struc­tural trans­for­ma­tion of the economies of the Comesa mem­ber States to foster over­all eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the mem­ber States through trade, in­vest­ment and re­gional in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment.

Min­is­ters par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Coun­cil meet­ing noted that the MTSP has been aligned with the Treaty, the Global Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals and the Con­ti­nen­tal Agenda 2063.

De­vel­oped un­der the theme “In pur­suit of Re­gional Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion and De­vel­op­ment”, the Plan iden­ti­fied nine Strate­gic Ob­jec­tives to drive the re­gional in­te­gra­tion agenda for the pe­riod 2016-2020. These in­clude: Strength­en­ing Mar­ket In­te­gra­tion, At­tract­ing In­creased In­vest­ments, Strength­en­ing De­vel­op­ment of Eco­nomic In­fra­struc­ture, in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, Blue Econ­omy, Gen­der and So­cial de­vel­op­ment, ca­pac­ity build­ing and Re­gional and Sec­re­tariat readi­ness. — @ okazunga

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