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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

ECOWAS demands EU's commitment to development fund

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is urging the European Union (EU) to show real monetary commitment to a proposed development fund for the subregion. The call, announced in a press release, follows an ECOWAS Ministerial Monitoring Committee held in Cotonou, Benin. Negotiations are expected to commence to lay the foundation for a new trade regime, which aims to create a free trade area of the two regions. Some issues that remain to be resolved related to the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Programme (EPADP) fund are: what each partner will give to the fund, and how it could be accessed. The experts-level MMC meeting showed how the Partnership Agreement could be integral to West Africa's integration process. The fund could also boost competitiveness, leading to an economic partnership pact that would help the 16-member ECOWAS take advantage of potentially greater access to European markets. West Africa wants EU negotiators to make clear the "dedicated source and accessibility" of the fund, according to the press statement.

Source: next.com