15 July 2021 by MATHEW AYOOLA
The Executive Director of Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Mr Olusegun Awolowo has called for increased volume of trade within the ECOWAS region.
He made the call in Abuja at the first meeting of the ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organization, TPO, Network.
Mr Olusegun Awolowo who is the first President of the Network said at present, intra-Africa export only accounts for about 16 percent of Africa’s global export while intra-ECOWAS trade only accounts for a 10th of ECOWAS countries global trade
According to him, the way to foster better trade among member countries is through cooperation between respective trade promotion agencies.
Mr Olusegun Awolowo said the establishment of ECOWAS Trade Liberation Scheme, ETLS, was a step in the right direction to increasing trade among ECOWAS countries’ especially among MSMEs which account for a large proportion of economic activities within the region.
He stated that through the TPO Network, member countries would work tirelessly towards facilitating the ease of trade for MSMEs within the ECOWAS region and Africa at large.
In a remark, the Executive Director, International Trade Centre, ITC, Pamela Hamilton advised member countries to give priority to the growth of small scale businesses towards enhancing economic development of the region.
She also stressed the need for them to improve their bilateral relations in the areas of trade and Investment.
In a message, the President of ECOWAS Commission, Doctor Jean-Claude Kassi Brou advised ECOWAS countries’ to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA to fast track economic development.
The meeting is being attended by Heads of Trade Promotion Agencies in the ECOWAS region.