Board Meeting of the COMESA Regional Investment Agency
The 19th Board Meeting of the COMESA Regional Investment Agency was held for the first time in Mauritius from 09 to 10 July 2018 at Le Meridien Hotel under the Chairmanship of the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Board, Mr Ken Poonoosamy. The Board Meeting was held in conjunction with site visits at the Mauritius Ports Authority and Mauritius Freeport Development Company Limited.
The COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA) is an institution of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) which was launched in 2006 in line with COMESA's ultimate objective to create a fully integrated, internationally competitive and unified regional economic community where goods, services, capital and persons move freely, for the sustainable economic development of the region. The principal route that was chosen in order to realise this goal is development integration through increased trade and investment.
The key objectives of the COMESA-RIA are as follows:
- To make COMESA one of the major destinations for regional and international investors while simultaneously enhancing national investment; and
- To carry-out other activities in the area of investment promotion, facilitation and advocacy in conformity with the COMESA Treaty.
Accordingly, through its various activities, COMESA RIA provides a platform for the private sector to interact with COMESA Governments and serves as an information hub through which it can promote the COMESA region, provide detailed information on legislation and policies affecting the business environment, cost of doing business, investment incentives, investment procedures, investment opportunities and projects, major events affecting investment and other relevant information. In doing so, COMESA RIA works closely with Member States’ Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) to promote the COMESA region as a Common Investment Area, and in building a positive image of the region and its Member States for a worldwide audience.
Moreover, COMESA RIA works to improve the business and investment climate of Member States namely through development support and capacity-building activities targeting their IPAs and other relevant Government Officials. As such, COMESA RIA improves Member States’ ability to facilitate and retain investments, and to promote themselves and the COMESA region, hence, to attract investment.
While RIA’s main stakeholders are COMESA Member States’ IPAs as reflected in its Board of Directors composition, its main targets are the private sector and final beneficiaries remain the general COMESA population. RIA is hosted by the Government of Egypt at the premises of the General Authority for Investment.
In the margins of the Board meetings held in Mauritius, a guide, titled “A Practical Guide to Doing Business in Mauritius” was launched. The Guide gives a quick overview of the investment climate, taxation, types of business organization and accounting practices in Mauritius. The manual is available online and can be downloaded from the following link.