By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Post) – The Federal government has signed a joint declaration on Economic Cooperation with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in Argentina that would allow a framework that facilitates increased trade and investment flows.
The Strategy & Communications Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Constance Ikokwu, in a statement said the areas of cooperation include trade in goods; customs and tariffs and trade facilitation; trade in services; investment; protection of intellectual property rights including enforcement; trade and sustainable development.
Others include digital economy encompassing ecommerce; trade and investment related issues pertaining to small and medium-sized enterprises; and any other areas of cooperation as mutually agreed by the parties involved.
In a related development , members of the Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development (FIFD) of which Nigeria is a member, unanimously adopted a Joint Ministerial Statement on Investment Facilitation.
The statement called for discussions that would identify and develop a framework for facilitating foreign direct investments; improving transparency; exchanging best practices; sharing information; and speeding up administrative processes among others.
The document explained that the discussion would not however, address matters of market access, investment protection and investor-state dispute settlement
In his remark, Enelamah who represented Africa by virtue of his position as Vice-Chair of the Ministerial Conference, expressed delight.
“We’re delighted to see the commitment of several countries on the issue of trade and investment. It is clear that these two are complementary. This is consistent with the government’s Ease of Doing Business agenda and will help Nigeria create sorely needed jobs as well as improve productivity. We reiterate that we are happy to work with other countries in a way and manner that is mutually beneficial,” he said.
Director General of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) and Chief Negotiator, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe in his remark said Nigeria has re-established itself on economic and trade policy leadership globally.
“And this is coming on the heels of Nigeria’s drive in Niamey, Niger last week, to bring the negotiations for the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) agreement closer to reality.” he added.
A total of 38 countries, including members and non-members of FIFD adopted the document focused on investment facilitation.
Nigeria Signs Joint Declaration on Economic Cooperation with EFTA
By Nse Anthony-Uko