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Involve border agencies for free movement of goods - ECOWAS Director of Trade

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Wed, 6 Jul 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

AfCFTA: Trade amongst yourselves, Kolawole Sofola urges African traders

Intra-regional trade very low - ECOWAS Director of Trade

Address challenges concerning cross-border trade on the continent, Kolawole to governments

Director of Trade at Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Kolawole Sofola, has said there can only be free movement of goods and services under Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) if border agencies are brought on board.

He noted that intra-regional trade on the continent is relatively low compared to that of Europe [70%] and Asia [60%].

Intra-African trade in 2020 declined from 18% to 16% due to the outbreak of the global pandemic - coronavirus.

The disruption in the supply chain by the COVID-19 outbreak led to a decline in revenue.

Total revenue of 61 billion dollars, according to reports declined by 5% over the last 5 years.

Mr Safola encouraged that local traders whilst trading on the global market equally trade amongst themselves in the sub-region.

In an exclusive interview with GhanaWeb, the Director of Trade at ECOWAS Commission said, "Intra-regional trade is usually between 12 and 15%. That is relatively low whereby we know in Europe, the European Union is usually 70%, in Asia over 60% so we need to really do more to trade not only amongst others in global trade but also amongst ourselves."

"One of the challenges perhaps is as tariffs and duties go down, Any products that are made in West Africa should be able to transit freely in West Africa without customs or duties and that’s why we are of Free Trade Area but we also found that there are blockages to the movement of goods…We need to work with our border agencies to make sure that they can process products that move across borders as quickly as possible," he told GhanaWeb's Ernestina Serwaa Asante.

He also called on all heads of government to address the challenges concerning cross-border trade on the continent.





ESA/FNOQ

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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