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ECOBANK, Manufacturers Association move to facilitate ECOWAS trade

Posted by By Franklin Alli & Daniel Gumm on 2005/07/27 | Views: 2549 |

ECOBANK, Manufacturers Association move to facilitate ECOWAS trade

The ECOBANK Group and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG) are on the move to facilitate trade in the ECOWAS sub region.

The ECOBANK Group and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG) are on the move to facilitate trade in the ECOWAS sub region.

Chairman, Organising Committee of EcoBank / MANEG, Mr. Bala Yesufu, told reporters in Lagos that they are bringing importers and exporters in all West African countries and Cameroun, together to discuss hindrances to their businesses and the solutions for possible implementation by stakeholders.

Bala, who is also the Export Development Manager Nigerian Breweries PLC, announced that already, a trade forum tagged "Fostering Regional Integration: Sharing Experiences to enhance sustainable trade development," the first leg of which had been held in Ghana, is slated to hold next week in Nigeria at the ECOWAS Secretariat, Abuja.

He stated that the trade forum billed to take place in Nigeria, is expected to attract about eighty Nigerian manufacturing exporters from diverse industries, businessmen and firms as well as policy makers from all the countries in West Africa and Cameroun.

"The major objective of the Trade Forum is to enable economic operators in the West African sub-region meet on a one-on-one basis, explore business opportunities in their various countries while highlighting issues that undermine free flow of trade. Importers (buyers) will be able to meet with exporters (sellers) and contract trade transactions," he said.

The forum, he stressed, is going to be divided into two main parts, namely, the technical session and the breakout session.

"During the technical session, the following three papers will be presented:

"Implementation of the ECOWASs Treaty on Free Trade: the Role of Nigeriaís Custom Service,"

"The ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) and Common External Tarrif (CET): the Way Forward, "and the inter-regional Transportation in West Africa - an Operatorís Perspective," he disclosed.

"We expect that Memorandum of understanding (MOUís) will be signed after the forum."

Meanwhile, in the communique issued at the end of the trade forum held in Ghana and which was organised by EcoBank, the following recommendations were made for immediate consideration:

*The Nigerian government should review its recent ban on the importation of certain items to ensure that it conforms to the provisions of the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme. This will ensure that goods produced in Ghana have access to the Nigerian market. This is especially the case for products in Ghana such as textiles, cassava starch, cutlasses, and plastics among others

*Customs, Immigration and police and other officials from both Ghana and Nigeria should regularly be educated to ensure that there is a significant reduction in the incidence of molestation and frustration of economic operators at the border points.

*Regional institutions such as ECOBANK and ECOMARINE should be supported by regulatory agencies to promote trade transactions between Ghana and Nigeria

*It was also recommended that ECOBANK in collaboration with Eco-Logistics should take immediate steps to set up warehouses in free zone areas in Ghana and Nigeria as a very practical way of facilitating trade between Ghana and Nigeria.

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