Set up Information Portal to boost Trade
The Minister of Trade and Industry Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has advocated for the setting up of an African Trade Information Sharing Platform to boost the trade and Investment ties between African Countries.
“The African Trade and Information Sharing Platform Portal will be dedicated to providing high-quality information services with a view to promote African Countries cooperation in global trade,” Dr. Spio-Gabrah said.
“The exchange of information will not be used as competition against African countries but rather would be used to complement each other market access opportunities and other trade issues,” he explained.
The Trade and Industry Minister made this call at a meeting of African Union Ministers’ of Trade held in Nairobi, Kenya last week.
The meeting took stock of progress made so far in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations and formulated common position on major issues on the WTO for the forthcoming 10th Ministerial Conference scheduled to take place in December, 2015.
Dr. Spio-Garbrah bemoaned the reluctance of a number of World Trade Organisation (WTO) members to engage in discussion on reforms to simplify and improve the complex WTO anti-dumping rules.
This according to him, “is hindering progress on the core Doha Round issues on agriculture, non-agricultural market access (NAMA) and services”.
The Minister requested members to urgently reactivate and conclude the rule negotiations by making them simple to enable African and other developing countries use them to protect their markets from flooding of cheap and inferior goods.
At the end of the meeting, the AU Trade Ministers reiterated the need for the Doha Round to address the developmental objectives of African countries which is based on the three core pillars of Agriculture, non-agricultural market access (NAMA) and Services.
The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of food security to African Countries and underscored that agriculture remains central to Africa’s development agenda at the WTO.
The Trade Ministers therefore called for the rectification of systemic imbalances in the Agreement on Agriculture, through which distortions in the global markets continue to undermine Africa’s potential economic gains.