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 in which 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 objectives set-out in RIA’s Charter 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, RIA provides a platform for private sector to interact with COMESA Governments and serves as an information hub through which it can promote the COMESA region, 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, 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, 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, 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 Director composition, RIA’s main targets have been private sector and main final beneficiaries the general COMESA population. RIA is hosted by the Government of Egypt at the premises of the General Authority for Investment.
Affiliations, Agreements and Partnerships
- COMESA RIA was elected as a member of the Steering Committee of the African Investment Promotion Agency Network (AfrIPANet) in 2008
- MOU with the Islamic Development Bank Corporation – 2009
- MOU with the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry – 2009
- MOU with Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry – 2009
- MOU with the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry – 2009
- MOU with the Federation of Arab Chambers of Commerce – 2009
- Partnership Agreement with Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry – 2010