Lawyers asked to embrace regional and continental free trade arrangements

Former Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs for Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Brian Chigawa has asked lawyers in the country utilise regional and continental free trade arrangements to gain opportunities when transacting in inter1 trade.

Chigawa made the call on Friday during the opening of a four days Malawi Law Society (MLS) Annual General Meeting at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi.

 “Regional trade arrangements such as COMESA free trade area, COMESA EAC SADC Tripartite Free Trade Area and now African Continental Free Trading Area are important trade blocks to be familiar with and it is also as important as lawyers to know which instruments to use and to know how to navigate through so that we can advise correctly,” said Chigawa.

He then advised the lawyers to firstly familiarise themselves with all the legal instruments for trade facilitation in the continental and region market before operating.

He added: “For example we have the COMESA rules of origin, the COMESA customs documents, the COMESA yellow card, COMESA Regional Customs Guarantee Scheme, COMESA EAC SADC Online Non-tariff Guideline Mechanism”.

The former COMESA Director of Legal and corporate Affairs added that these products are available to facilitate trade as well as movement of persons.

 “Lawyers play an advisory role on clients and are called to advise their clients on various opportunities that exist,” said Chigawa.

 In his remarks, Chairperson for MLS Patrick Mpaka said that inter1 commercial transactions flourish due to quality legal services being offered.

He therefore said that it was important that this year lawyers be drilled on various topical topic by experts in the legal advisory sector such as Chigawa.

“We understand the Free Trade Area seeks to create a liberalised market for goods and services through successive rounds of negotiations on the regional economic integration, the goal we are told is for Africa to become one single common market by 2063,” said Mpaka

Patrick Mpaka MLS chairperson,Pic, Maxwell Kudzala (Mana)
Mpaka: lawyers should be drilled in legal advisory sector

He added: “There is a sense in which the development aspirations of the people of Malawi expressed in their constitution can hope to be delivered through these regional integration programs, it is therefore imperative that the role that Malawian lawyer plays in facilitating sustainable development in that scheme be critically assessed”.

The 2022 MLS annual conference theme is; Law, sustainable development and the African single Market; towards the African Agenda 2063 and the Malawi vision 2063.