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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Europe Intensifies EPA Lobby in West Africa

The European Union (EU) has rebuffed claims that the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the West African region and Nigeria within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is out to undermine the region’s nascent manufacturing sector. In a move to further woo the African nations to fully endorse the agreement, the EU stressed that, on the contrary, the EPA represents an opportunity for Nigeria, in terms of attracting investment to the non-oil sectors, improved access to the EU market and economic governance. Various pan African experts on global trade have warned African nations not to sign the agreement, which they believe will stunt the development of the industrial sector of the sub-region.
The EU Ambassador, Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Dr. David Macrae, who congratulated Nigeria on its recent 52nd Independence anniversary, disclosed that the EU is West Africa’s major trading partner, most notably in respect of non-oil products. Macrae said there was need to identify those sectors which need protection, put them aside and look together to see how those sectors can be made competitive, and stressed that the idea of developing a sector was that in the long term it can become more viable not needing special protection.

Source: ThisDay Live

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