World Trade Agreement: FG approves Nigeria’s Category ‘A’ implementation commitment

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presid­ed over by President Goodluck Jonathan has ap­proved the notification of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) of Nigeria’s Catego­ry ‘A’ implementation com­mitment in the World Trade Facilitation Agreement.

It has also approved the transmission to the National Assembly the Draft Bill for an Act to establish the National  Biotechnology Development Agency and Other Related Matters as well as gave its approval for the ratification of the Memorandum of Un­derstanding (MoU) for the establishment of a consulta­tion mechanism for the inte­grated management of water resources.

The WTO agreement is a multilateral trade agreement, which is geared towards help­ing member states to update their infrastructure, train cus­toms and other border agen­cies’ officials to implement the agreement.

Also referred to as the Bali Treaty, it is a trade agreement resulting from the 9th Minis­terial Conference of WTO in Bali, Indonesia, held between December 3 and 7, 2013, and aimed at lowering global trade barriers. Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Supervis­ing Minister of Information, Nurudeen Mohammad, ac­companied by the Ministers of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe and Trade and In­vestment, Olusegun Aganga as well as the Minister of Science and Technology, Abu Bullama, said the approval came follow­ing a memo by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Invest­ment.

Explaining the implication and benefits of Nigeria’s com­mitment in the Category ‘A’, Aganga said if well imple­mented, it is expected to bring about one per cent reduction in trade cost globally.

“It will lead to about 40 bil­lion increase in revenue. This is expected to lead to about 15 per cent reduction in the cost of trade,” he said. He noted that the commitment will also help increase the export of develop­ing countries by about $570 billion.

“If well implemented glob­ally, it will increase the global GDP by $1 trillion, create close to about 30 million jobs, 21 million of which will be com­ing from developing countries.

“For Africa, as you know, the intra-Africa trade is very low at 11 per cent and 12 per cent and Africa’s share of the global wealth is low at three per cent.

“If this commitments is properly implemented, it will significantly increase the re­gional and continental trade; as you know, Africa wants to become a continental free trade area by 2017, so for African countries, this is important to us. Even if we do it from an African perspective, it will help facilitate trade and accel­erate that economic integration within regional and African countries,” he said.

The WTO trade facilitation agreement creates a binding commitment across the 159 member countries to expedite movement, the release and clearance of goods.

Source : SunOnline

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