The ECOWAS Commission organized a Consultative Meeting on Regional Trade Policy Instruments in Lagos from 1 – 3 February 2023, to deepen consultations with Member States as part of the formulation of the ECOWAS Common Trade Policy, the ECOWAS Trade and Investment Promotion Strategy, and the ECOWAS Trade Fair Guidelines.
In his opening remarks, Mr. Lassana FATI, Director General of Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Guinea Bissau and Chair of the meeting, urged participants to take into consideration the region’s ambition to deepen regional integration and economic development through, inter-alia, boosting trade. Before declaring the meeting open, Mr. FATI advised participants to propose actionable recommendations that would enrich the formulation and implementation of regional trade instruments.
On behalf of Madame Massandjé TOURE-LITSE, ECOWAS Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Mr. Kolawole SOFOLA, Acting Director of Trade recalled the directive of the Meeting of the 2nd Joint ECOWAS Ministers of Trade and Industry held in November 2022, to finalize the key Regional Trade Policy Instruments by June 2023. He urged participants to bring to bear their expertise to improve the documents under consideration.
The meeting considered the key instruments as well as the proposed roadmap for their finalization. To ensure a participatory process and promote ownership by national stakeholders, the meeting agreed to continue with in-country consultations that would include both State and Non-State Actors.
The Consultative Experts Meeting was attended by Member States’ Trade Expert, representatives of the ECOWAS Commission, GIZ, and AFREXIMBANK.