Friday, May 14, 2010

FEWACCI Conference Ends

News Banjul The Gambia (MB)- The Minister of Fisheries and Natural Resources, Lamin Kaba Bajo, has said the Gambia will support any proposal which will ensure the effective implementation of the ECOWAS trade liberalization scheme (ETLS), as well as the free movement of goods and persons in the sub-region. Mr. Bajo made these remarks on Wednesday 5 May 2010, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel, when he delivered the closing statement at the FEWACCI conference on facilitating intra-ECOWAS trade.
The statement was made on behalf of the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment.
The conference was organised by the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FEWACCI. Mr. Bajo noted that FEWACCI succeeded in mobilising key experts to come and discuss the challenges that face them as a region in their efforts to improve trade and development issues.
“The huddles that our people are subjected to as they move from one place to another are uncalled for”, he said.
Minister Bajo, therefore, called on the ECOWAS Commission to work closely with FEWACCI to come up with a practical plan on how ECOWAS member states will quickly implement the recommendations from this forum. “I will also urge FEWACCI never to give up in the quest to see a single economic space for producers and consumers in West Africa,” he further stated.
According to Mr. Bajo, the challenges are huge but FEWACCI has shown vigour in its readiness to be strong partners with the ECOWAS Commission. He added that positive results in the facilitation of intra-ECOWAS trade has began making a mark, as seen in the achievements made by ECOBANK and in air transport (ASKY), which he described as commendable.
The Minister also commended the ECOWAS Commission on the establishment of FEWACCI. In his view, it is among the institutions that will enhance the transformation of ECOWAS from a community of countries to a community of people.
Minister Bajo noted that the discussions held by participants during the three days reflected the difficulties that producers, traders and the people generally are subjected to in the sub-region, in terms of the movement of people, goods and services, which definitely needs urgent attention. “Our authorities are committed to the integration process that was why they adopted and ratified a number of protocols and decisions related to trade”, he added.
Mr. Bajo expressed optimism that this effort would take them one more step towards addressing the challenges that they face as a region, particularly in promoting intra-ECOWAS trade.

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