Liberalized Market for Free Trade in Goods and Services a lifetime opportunity for African countries says PAMA

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    PAMA, sees the “Single Liberalized Market for Free Trade in Goods and Services”, which African Continental Free Trade Area, AfCFTA, offers, as a lifetime opportunity for African countries to trade more with each other, refocus national economic, investment and industrial policies to be in sync with continental aspirations to enhance private sector development, grow national economies, increase the number of African multinational companies and fastrack the process of fully integrating the continent into the global market.

    The President, Pan-African Manufacturers Association, Francis Meshioye stated the above at the Lighting the African Trade Torch for Implementation of AfCFTA held last week in Lagos.

     

    “All these opportunities are for the taking if competitiveness of private businesses is enhanced and I must say, we cannot afford to allow this monumental opportunity to liberate Africa economically, slip from our hands.  In reality, the benefits and opportunities that AfCFTA offers are not without challenges and hurdles that will necessitate tough decisions and measures. However, I am confident that with concerted efforts of all stakeholders and overwhelming support of all private sector operators in Africa, these hurdles are surmountable”, said the President.

    “In my role as President of the PAMA, I have the privilege of engaging manufacturers association of African Countries, comprised of thriving manufacturing firms, businesses, SMEs, women and youth entrepreneurs across the continent. I affirm that expectations are high and efforts are in top gear to expand our countries export market frontiers and promote cross border trade in Africa. The common threads that I have observed on the front burner of conversations among our members include the hope that AfCFTA will transform Africa to a prosperous continent, the desire to be competitive and readiness to trade in a rule-based environment”, he added.

    “Without doubt, we must now move beyond the completion of negotiations on schedule of tariff offers, finalization of work on the Rules of Origin and fully operationalize the Pan African Payment Platform. We should speedily resolve all outstanding issues that are germane to the effective implementation of AfCFTA. As we light the Africa Trade Torch on implementation of AfCFTA today, we must all resolve to keep this monumental light on in our minds”, he stressed.

    “We should ensure that we all continue to support the African Union and the AfCFTA Secretariat in the quest to evolve strategic approaches that will ensure that trading in the AfCFTA corridor stimulate inclusive development in Africa through:

    • Strategic framework that will facilitate inflow of investment into the Continent
    • Inclusion of women, youth, innovation and technology development in the AfCFTA implementation roadmap
    • Addressing macroeconomic environment, poor competitiveness and dearth of trade facilitation infrastructure prevailing in many African countries
    • Ensuring the upscaling of trade in manufactured goods through improved industrial capacity
    • Deliberate development of industrial inputs to reduce the intensity of reliance on the global supply chain
    • Intentionally bringing down all the historical physical borders in Africa, facilitating peaceful co-existence and security of lives and property
    • Effective support for all Organized Private Sector Organizations in Africa and strengthening of the Private Sector Directorate in the structure of the AfCFTA Secretariat

    “I will like to affirm that PAMA has centralized the objective of industrializing Africa; strengthening its members capacities across Africa; encouraging creation of value chain development cross border and in partnership with each other, and quite importantly, ensuring good quality and standards of our products in order to be competitive, both within and outside the continent”, he maintained.

    “I will like to state that PAMA will continue to monitor unfolding events around AfCFTA with great optimism. We shall embark on capacity building for business promoters and partner with Governments as well as other stakeholders at the national, regional and continental levels to ensure gainful participation in the Continental trade”, stated the President.

     

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