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General News Sun, 21 Oct 2001

Ministry of Regional Cooperation to Focus On Trade Expansion

The Ministry of Economic Planning, Regional Co-operation and Integration is to institutionalise a West Africa public-private sector round-table to assist the private sector to attract investments, increase exports and diversify the economy.

The sector Minister, Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom, said last week that the forum would help to formulate and implement policies and programmes in line with the country's aim to expand trade and industrial relations with her sub-regional neighbours.

The press conference was called to brief the media on the efforts of the ministry at promoting sub-regional economic co-operation.

The ministry, he said, has a medium term plan on regional economic co-operation and integration with a focus on expanding trade through the creation of a single free trade area and borderless zone.

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"It is our conviction that regional trade expansion would provide a stronger basis for an effective participation of Ghana and ECOWAS countries in the evolving linkages and inter dependence of production units."

"Access to this type of market will enhance Ghanaian enterprise ability to access global funds."

He said the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, which seeks to promote intra-community trade and the free flow of unprocessed goods and traditional handicrafts duty-free in member countries has been fraught with problems especially from the ECOWAS French speaking neighbours.

Source: Accra Mail
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