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A boost for struggling African regional trade: Seychelles signs up for Tripartite Free Trade Agreement

Published on June 15, 2015

Leaders from 26 African countries yesterday signed an ambitious declaration in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt to establish a wide-reaching free-trade zone across almost the entire eastern half of the African continent.

The smallest member state of all, the 115-island archipelago of Seychelles, which lies off the eastern coastline of Africa and has a population of just 90,000 people, is upbeat about the possibilities the agreement could bring for the remote island nation.

The Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA), which incorporates member countries from the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), will stretch from the southernmost tip of the continent to the northernmost country of Egypt.

The fast-growing region, which encompasses over 600 million people and a combined Gross Domestic Product of $1.2 trillion will be able to trade with each other more cheaply through the agreement, which will effectively remove tariffs and customs duties for domestically-produced goods traded between their borders. Read more. Source | Seychelles News Agency