ECOWAS moves to develop a regional services trade policy
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has commenced a three day workshop aimed at developing a Regional Services Policy, strengthen policy formulation, and identify best-fit regulatory and institutional frameworks and negotiation capacity on trade in services.
The workshop is also to ensure that the Trade sector plays it role in supporting ECOWAS to meet its development objectives.
In his opening remarks of the workshop on 27th July 2016 in Abuja, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, Mr. Laouali Chaibou emphasized the need for an effective Regional Services Policy, which is necessary for the attainment of the ECOWAS mandate of economic integration.
Over the years, ECOWAS has committed itself to trade in services at various levels as it is important for the growth of different aspects of the economies of Member States, he said.
Furthermore, Commissioner Chaibou cited the workshop as an opportunity for building the capacity of Member States by sharing of experiences of experts in the trade sector in the region.
He stated that the objective of the training is to build capacity in the ECOWAS region with the aim of providing a pool of regional experts as a resource for policy-making and negotiations on trade in services.
The ECOWAS Director of Trade, Dr.Gbenga Obideyi disclosed that participants of the workshop will also focus on issues concerning the formulation of an ECOWAS Common Trade Policy (CTP) in services as well as the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) under the auspices of the African Union and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) services negotiations between the region and the European Union (EU).
The ECOWAS Regional Services Policy Review (SPR) will be formally launched as part of the Workshop.
The representative of UNCTAD stressed the commitment of its Secretary General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, to support African integration and pledged his support going forward.
The training, which is attended by representatives of Member States and the various Directorates of the Commission, is organised in the context of a partnership between UNCTAD and the ECOWAS Commission with support from GIZ.