Nouboue nee Monguen Alice can be likened to an ambassador of assiduity, transparency and stringency; and above all, she is a great patriot. It brings together a group of nineteen African states in East and South Africa which have agreed to promote regional integration through trade and development and to develop their natural and human resources for the mutual benefit of all their peoples. Like many other regional trading blocs, COMESA, is meant to increase intra-regional trade by rewarding member states and ‘punishing’ non-member states by imposing tariffs and non-tariff barriers. In this paper, the author will examine the inconsistencies between regional integration and globalization, with a focus on COMESA/PTA and thereby expose the extent to which the two are incompatible.
The fact that those that are local enjoy these advantages encourages domestic enterprise which is congruent with the raison d’être of the regional bloc: to promote intra-regional trade and promote regional investments. The very essence for the creation of the regional economic organization is to give them greater ability to protect regional and national interest in relation to other countries, transnational companies and international economic organizations.
The argument advanced is that by putting tariff and non-tariff barriers on non-members, regional organizations reduce global trade and obviously reduce efficiency in the market. This is what, in the view of regional blocs, will spur economic development devoid of the exploitation by the capitalist oriented MNCs. Regionalists will therefore disagree with the promotion of global level efficiency at the expense of regional efficiency and regional economic development.
In the first instance is that the donor countries would much rather lend a nation-state and buy its loyalty that to a regional bloc. Secondly, even the decisions that these states consequently make with regard to acceptance and domestications of the resolutions of the regional bloc are significantly influenced by the donor countries and the bilateral arrangements in place.
There are also consistencies that exist between globalization and regional economic integration. Indeed, in the process of foreign trade liberalization and accelerated integration in the world economy, regional integration is of special importance. This is mainly because regional integration restricts sovereignty of member states in economic policy formulation. It is these benefits that are derived from regional integration that form the bedrock upon which globalization is founded.