ECOWAS Experts Meet to Consider Draft Trade in Services Offer for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

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The ECOWAS Commission convened the Seventh (7) Regional Meeting on the draft ECOWAS Offer, from 25–27 April 2022, on the Protocol to Trade in Services under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Prior to opening the meeting, the Director of Bilateral, Regional and Multilateral Trade at the Ministry of Trade & Industry of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. Mickson OPOKU, expressed his appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission for its support in building the capacity of Member States to negotiate Trade in Services effectively. He underlined the important role of the service sector for national and regional economic development, and called on the participants to work hard to complete their Offers taking into account the expectations of their respective countries and the overall goals of the region.

On behalf of Mr Tèi KONZI, ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs & Free Movement, Mr Kolawole SOFOLA, Acting Director of Trade, highlighting the support provided by the ECOWAS Commission to its Member States, such as technical assistance and capacity building, to ensure drafts of their Offers in five ( 5) Priority Sectors on Trade in Services are in line with the negotiation modalities and ensure that regional acquisitions are maintained.

Desiree LOUMOU, Senior Expert – Trade in Services at the AfCFTA Secretariat, on behalf of Ms. Emily MBURU, Director of Trade in Services at the AfCFTA Secretariat, commends the ECOWAS Commission and its Member States for their active participation in the negotiation process, and for submitting their Initial Offerings in five (5) Priority sector in Service Trade. He reaffirmed the commitment of the AfCFTA Secretariat to support African Union (AU) Member States including ECOWAS in finalizing their Bid.

The 7th Regional Meeting reviewed the draft ECOWAS Offer for AfCFTA Trade in Services negotiations and held a bilateral session between the ECOWAS Commission and Member States to discuss various technical issues to ensure they comply with the agreed modalities and guidelines of the AfCFTA negotiations, and consider requests from parties third.

The meeting was attended by Trade in Services Experts from ECOWAS Member Countries and Mauritania; Officials from the ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions; and representatives from the AfCFTA Secretariat.

Forty-two (42) African countries are now Parties to the AfCFTA Agreement. Forty (40) States and Seven (7) non-States have submitted their Offers. Five (5) priority sectors for Service Trade are Business Services; Communication Services; Financial Services; Tourism and Travel Related Services; and Transportation Services.

Distributed by the APO Group on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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ECOWAS Experts Meet to Consider Draft Trade in Services Offer for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Source link ECOWAS Experts Meet to Consider Draft Trade in Services Offer for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

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