COMESA’s total trade increased by US$ 2 billion from US$ 238 billion in 2016 to US$ 240 billion in 2017. This increase was due to improved export performance which recorded a rise of 19% from US$ 73 billion in 2016 to US$ 87 billion in 2017. COMESA countries that recorded notable growth rates in their 2017 exports were DRC (66%), Rwanda (55%), Libya (52%), Sudan (41%), Zambia (25%), Seychelles (22%), Eswatini (19%), Ethiopia (15%), Comoros (12%), Egypt (12%) and Uganda (12%). DRC, Libya, Egypt, Zambia and Sudan together accounted for a combined increase of US$ 15 billion in exports in 2017. On the other hand, COMESA’s global imports dropped by 7% from US$ 165 billion in 2016 to US$ 154 billion in 2017.
The drop in COMESA’s global imports was mainly attributed to performance by Egypt, Libya, Ethiopia and Djibouti whose combined imports accounted for a decline of US$20 billion in 2017. The viz below depicts the performance of COMESA’s global trade over the period 2007 – 2017 and the trends in trade within COMESA and with its major trading partner the EU.
Source: 2018 COMESA International Trade Statistics Bulletin.