ECOWAS Ministers of Trade and Industry adopt Framework Policy on Development of Automobile Value Chains

ECOWAS Ministers of Trade and Industry
ECOWAS Ministers of Trade and Industry

The 2nd Joint Meeting of the ECOWAS Ministers of Trade and Industry (ECO-MOTI) was held on the 10th and 11th of November 2022 in Abidjan- Cote d’Ivoire. The 2-Day Ministerial meeting was preceded by a meeting of Trade Officials from the 8th to 9th of November 2022.

At a time when the global economy has been severely affected by conflicts and crisis that have disrupted supply chains, the overall objective of the meeting was to discuss and request Ministerial directives on key regional and continental issues to address some of these challenges through boosting intra-regional trade and promoting regional value chains through the implementation of flagship programmes such as the African Continental Free Trade (AfCFTA) and the ECOWAS Customs Union.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Souleymane DIARRASSOUBA, Minister of Trade, Industry and Promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, who welcomed Ministers to Cote d’Ivoire, on behalf of the Government and people of Cote d’Ivoire, highlighted the relevance the agenda items to be considered by the meeting of Ministers which are in line with the Africa Union Agenda 2063 and the ECOWAS Vision 2050. He concluded his remarks by recalling Cote d’Ivoire’s efforts on industrial development, in particular, advancements in the automobile industry.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Abas Jaló, Chair of the 2nd ECOMOTI and Minister of Trade of the Republic of Guinea Bissau, thanked H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire for the warm hospitality and excellent facilities made available for the meeting. He encouraged the Member States to create synergies in order to benefit from the opportunities offered by the ECOWAS Customs Union as well as the African Continental Free Trade Area.

In her remarks, Mrs. Massandje TOURE-LITSE, ECOWAS Commissioner of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, on behalf of H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu TOURAY, President of the ECOWAS Commission, thanked the government of Cote d’Ivoire for hosting the 2nd Joint meeting of Ministers of Trade and Industry. She recalled that given the challenging situation of the world economy, which is marked by multiple crises and external shocks, the guidance of the Ministers for Trade and Industry was vital to move forward the regional agenda on economic diversification and structural change taking into consideration ongoing regional as well as continental initiatives.

Pr. Filiga Michel SAWADOGO, UEMOA Commissioner in Charge of the Department of Regional Market and Cooperation, shared a solidarity message from the UEMOA Commission and thanked the ECOWAS Commission for their ongoing collaboration. He concluded his message by reiterating the commitment by UEMOA to deepen collaboration with the ECOWAS commission on trade and industrial development in West Africa.

The Ministers discussed the state of intra-community trade and addressed regional and continental issues including the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); coordinating trade relations with the European Union; and expansion of activities relating to the Informal Trade Regulatory Support Program (PARCI/ITRSP). The Ministers also discussed the development of a number of Strategies and Policies such as the Automotive Industrial Value Chains; ECOWAS E-commerce Strategy; Regional Trade and Transport Facilitation Strategy; and the ECOWAS Trade and Investment Strategy. Other issues discussed included progress on the Directive on Consumer Protection.

Concerning the Automotive Industry Value Chain, the Minister recommended the Automotive Industry Value Chain Policy Framework for adoption by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.

The Meeting was attended by Ministers of Trade and Industry from ECOWAS Member States. The Ministers were accompanied by their respective Trade Officials. Also in attendance were officials from the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions.

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