Ghana-Nigeria Brainstorm to Strengthen ECOWAS Trade Relations
The Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank yesterday disclosed plans to deal with challenges in Ghana and Nigeria trade relations and also outdoor measures to strengthen ECOWAS.
An Official document from Ministry of Trade made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, indicates that a new World bank report showed that African countries were losing out on billions of dollars in potential trade earnings every year because of high trade barriers with neighboring countries, and that it was easier for Africa to trade with the rest of the world than with itself.
A workshop, slated for Accra this week, would identify areas for reform where Ghana could engage to lead the regional integration processes in West Africa; take stock of concerns and ideas that could subsequently be presented in Nigeria when presenting the note there; and transmit a message from the private sector to the Ghana government, arguing that addressing barriers to intra-regional trade and the lack of implementation of existing agreements in bilateral and regional talks should be a priority.
“These high trade barriers lead to regional trade fragmentation, which deprives the continent of new sources of economic growth, new jobs, and sharply falling poverty, factors which accompanied significant trade integration in East Asia and other regions. The cross-border production networks that played an important role to increase economic growth, particularly in East Asia, have yet to materialize in Africa,” the report stated.
It said the conclusions of the report, are of particular pertinence for Ghana, and the presentation of the report would be complemented by recent analysis of the barriers to trade that result from the lack of implementation of ECOWAS commitments in the region.
In particular, the presentation will focus on how these barriers impact on ordinary traders in Ghana when trading with Nigeria. The event will also invite the participants to discuss policy responses to address these barriers, simplify and improve transparency of trade procedures in the region, and improve intra-regional collaboration among government agencies that intervene in trade procedures.