Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Antananarivo, Madagascar, to attend the 19th summit of Heads of States and Governments of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) here Tuesday.

The summit, which will run under the theme, "Inclusive and Sustainable Industrialization", is expected to deliberate trade and Customs issues, including the status of implementing the COMESA free trade area, the Tripartite Free Trade Area, Economic Partnership Agreements and the COMESA Medium Term Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020.

The strategic plan is expected to contribute to structural transformation of the economies of the COMESA member states to foster their overall economic development through trade, investment and regional infrastructure development.

Developed under the theme "In pursuit of Regional Economic Transformation and Development", the Plan identifies nine strategic objectives to drive the regional integration agenda for the period from 2016 to 2020.

These include strengthening market integration, attracting increased investments, strengthening development of economic infrastructure, industrialization, blue economy, gender and social development, capacity building and regional and secretariat readiness.

The summit is expected to receive reports from the Ministers of Foreign Affairs as well as Trade and Justice Ministers.

Zimbabwe is implementing a project funded by COMESA through the Regional Integration Support mechanisms meant to achieve deeper regional integration. The country is also implementing energy, transport and agriculture projects under COMESA.

COMESA is a free trade area with 20 member states and was formed in 1994 to replace the Preferential Trade Area which had existed since 1981. The grouping is also considering a common visa scheme to boost tourism.