The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), is expected to conduct a two-day stakeholders’ Workshop on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in Monrovia from February 9-10, 2021.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was established in January 2012, in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, and entered into force on January 1, 2021, with a focus on creating a single African market for goods and services.
The idea is also aimed at facilitating the free movement of persons and capital to deepen economic integration and accelerate the establishment of a single continental customs union.
State parties to the AfCFTA, agreed to a 90% elimination of tariffs on goods and that the remaining 10%, 7% may be designated as sensitive, while 3% of the tariff lines can be excluded from liberalization.
By implementing the AfCFTA Agreement, Liberian industries and manufacturers will have increased access to the wider African markets of around 1.3 billion consumers. Liberian exports will also face lower or no import duties in designated importing African countries.
Specialization and trade diversification of products are also expected to increase, thus enhancing innovation, improved product quality and consumer preferences, if the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement is implemented.
The overall objective of the two-day workshop is to create awareness and build capacity of participants on the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement, solicit feedback from Liberian service providers on trade restrictions faced in other African countries, as well as seek high level political buy-in to facilitate the ratification of the Agreement.
The workshop will be held at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry at Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on February 9-10, 2021.
Expected participants include members of the National Legislature, the Ministries of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Transport, Post and Telecommunications, Education, Foreign Affairs and State for Presidential Affairs.
According to the release, other participants are the Central Bank of Liberia, Liberia Revenue Authority, the Liberia Medical and Dental Association, Liberia Chamber of Commerce, Liberia National Tourism Association, Liberia National Bar Association, Liberia Bankers Association, Consortium of Liberian Insurance Companies, Press Union of Liberia, Travel Agency Association and civil society organizations.