Friday, October 24, 2014

Nigeria commits to WTO, Multilateral Trading Systems says Aganga

(Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment Report) - The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga has said that Nigeria is committed to the World Trade Organization and the Multilateral Trading Systems.
The Minister stated this during the opening ceremony of the National Workshop on Implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in Abuja on Tuesday October 20, 2014; noting that the implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement was critical to enhancing global trade.

Olusegun Aganga, who was represented by the Director of Trade in the Ministry, Felix Askipta said that the main purpose of the workshop is to enhance participants' understanding of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and its implication as well as determine Nigeria's target categorization of the remaining TFA commitments and to enhance participants' awareness on the key success factor for setting up and strengthening of a National Trade Facilitation Committee.

He inferred that the WTO members have failed to meet the proposed deadline of July 31, 2014 to conclude the Protocol Agreement on amendment of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation. According to him, this was the first test of WTO members' commitment to implementing the outcomes of the Bali WTO Ministerial Conference. He also stated that the TFA contained provisions that would enable faster and more efficient customs procedures through effective cooperation between customs and other appropriate authorities on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.

Aganga further stressed that international trade was critical to the economic development of any nation, adding that it would enable a country to expand its market and generate much foreign exchange. "Nigeria has provided detailed information on the technical assistance requirement and a valuable basis for the eventual implementation of the result of the WTO negotiations . The outcome of the workshop would assist Nigeria to negotiate more effectively on Technical Assistance and Special and Differential Treatment (TA and SDT) as well as trade facilitation measures that should be included in the final results of the negotiations, " he intensified.

Speaking during the event, the Associate Economic Affairs Officer of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Julian-Fraga Camos disclosed that the International Trade Centre was the technical agency of the UNCTAD and WTO; adding that their special mandate was to work with the government and private sector, especially Small and Medium Enterprises towards improving export and import.

Julian-Fraga Camos noted that they will assist and collaborate with the government and whatever decision that the government makes on the categorization of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement should not be based on the regulatory agencies alone, but as well the point of view of the traders/private sector of Nigeria. She added that consideration would be given to the inefficiencies and bottlenecks in the implementation of procedures or laws.

Source: fed min. Of ind. Trade & invt.

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