Economic Community Of West African States
A senior official of Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has warned West Africa sub-region against entering into trade agreement with the European Union blindly.
The much disparaged European Union’s Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) got a fresh beating Tuesday in Lagos, as the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) told a gathering of Industry stakeholders, including EU’s Ambassador to Nigeria, David Macrae, that the EPA Road Map should be put on hold and that the entire negotiation process be subjected to a complete review.
The European Union has rebuffed claims that the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement with the West African region and Nigeria within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is out to undermine the region’s nascent manufacturing sector.
Trade and Industry Minister, Ms Hannah Tetteh has called all stakeholders in the West African sub-region to show extra commitment to the integration agenda and the implementation of various ECOWAS protocols.
The Hannah Tetteh-led Ministry of Trade and Industry is pushing Ghana to sign up the ever-controversial Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the 27-member European Union (EU).
The Economic Justice Network (EJN) has accused the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh, of stabbing ECOWAS in the back by indicating that the country can no longer linger on the idea of signing and ratifying the interim agreement on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Negotiations between ECOWAS and the EU on the Economic Partnership Agreements, EPAs reached a deadlock at a meeting held in Brussels, last month.
The 11th Meeting of the joint ECOWAS-UEMOA Committee for the Management of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) opened in Cotonou, Benin Republic on December 5, to review the draft CET Nomenclature, based on the 2012 version of the Harmonized System and the draft ECOWAS CET prepared by the two regional blocs in Banjul, The Gambia, last April.
In preparation for our participation in the Ecowas MMC meeting on EPAs that is currently underway in Accra, The West Africa CSO Platform on the Cotonou Agreement (POSCAO) and the Economic Justice Network of Ghana (EJN) met on Sunday 27th November 2011 to review the state of affairs in the West Africa – EU EPA negotiations and to update West African CSO positions and contributions to this process. The POSCAO/EJN meeting which was hosted by the Secretariat of the Africa Trade Network, also based in Accra adopted a number of positions which we now share with you.
Despite disagreements, the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union is not stalled, Dr Gbenga Obideyi, Director of Trade of ECOWAS has said.
Since the beginning of the year, the Trade and Industry Minister, Hon Hannah Tetteh has continued with her push for Ghana to sign and ratify the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) that was initialled in 2007 to save small proportion of exporters whose main export destination is the European market.
The Ghana government is likely to tell ECOWAS of its plans to go solo on the signing of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) when Trade Ministers in the sub-region meet in the country later this month.
The Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GNCCI) is spearheading a capacity-building project to increase trade flows between neighboring ECOWAS countries and the European Union.
The subject of trade barriers has been a recurring issue in the country for years. Thus, a forum that emphasised the need for African countries, West African countries in particular, to trade with each other was organised Thursday by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
After Look East, India is now adding a ’Focus West’ chapter to its trade policy. Under increasing pressure from China, especially in Africa, New Delhi is now moving ahead with plans to sign three comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA) that would include free trade pacts in goods and services. In addition, the government has started work on upgrading its preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Mercosur”comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay”commerce & industry minister Anand Sharma said.
West African lawmakers have cautioned against any decision to open up the region’s market “too wide and hastily” to the European Union as part of the concession for reaching a trade agreement between the two regions.
Deputy minister of Trade and Industry has assured the people of Sierra Leone and ECOWAS states that her ministry with its trade partners will soon be more resourceful in market investment.
National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) on Monday said the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations had created some reliefs that could promote regional economic integration in the ECOWAS sub-region.
Knotty issues impeding conclusive negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) can be resolved if the private sector in West Africa is involved in the process, according to ministers from the sub-region in charge of the talks.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is urging the European Union (EU) to show real monetary commitment to a proposed development fund for the subregion.