The COMESA Authority 1998 declared COMESA to be a “Common Investment Area and it was further decided to establish a Regional Investment Agency, which is tasked with implementing the COMESA Common Investment Area (CCIA). The COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA) was launched in 2006 with the objective of making COMESA one of the major destinations for regional and international investors while simultaneously enhancing national investment. RIA undertakes activities in investment promotion, facilitation and advocacy.
The establishment of a CCIA is particularly useful, as national markets in most Member States are too small to attract investment on their own. Regional markets attract more investment as they have more consumers than national markets and hence more purchasing power. Furthermore, multi-nationals, fund managers and other investors now give preference to regional, rather than national markets in making decisions on where to invest.
An Investment Framework Agreement was adopted by the Twelfth Summit of the COMESA Authority in 2007, which will form the basis of investment laws and policies in the region. Some of the benefits that the ‘COMESA investor and other foreign investors will receive under the Agreement are national and most favoured nation treatment. They will have access to international arbitration and their investments will be guaranteed against expropriation and nationalization.
The COMESA Regional Investment Agency (RIA) is based in Cairo, Egypt.
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