By creating a single economic space, with harmonized trade policies and a regulatory framework, the TFTA solves the problem of multiple memberships, streamlines trade negotiations, reduces business costs, supports industrialization and stimulates cross-border infrastructure projects. The tripartite free trade agreement brings together 28 member countries of COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The tripartite vision is to improve the economic and social well-being of the citizens of the COMESA-EAC-SADC region by encouraging regional economic growth by creating an environment to support regional trade. This article describes these intra-regional negotiating opportunities at the importer-exporter level of products in the TFTA region. First, we outline the main elements of regional trade theory, the motivations for further integration and the status of economic partnerships and competitiveness in Africa. We then discuss our method, which uses Filter 2 from the Decision Support Model (DSM) (Cuyvers, Steenkamp – Viviers 2012), a market selection tool that has been used for five consecutive years to identify constantly large and growing import potentials in different TFTA countries. The comea-EAC-SADC common market covers 26 countries, with a total population of nearly 600 million and a total gross domestic product (GDP) of about $1 trillion. The main objective of the comea-EAC-SADC-Tripartite is to strengthen and deepen the economic integration of the South and East African region. This will be achieved through the harmonization of policies and programmes in the three regional economic communities (REC) in the areas of trade, customs and infrastructure development. NAIROBI, September 3 (Xinhua) — Africa`s Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) will enter service in early 2020, an official said Tuesday. Francis Mangeni, Director of Trade and Customs for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), told Xinhua in Nairobi that five countries have ratified the TFTA, which brings together COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) trading blocs.
“We expect 11 other countries to ratify the agreement before the end of the year so that the TFTA can be operational,” Mangeni said on the sidelines of the 6th Annual Comesa Research Forum.