WTO’s trade agreement will boost exports – Awolowo

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The coming into force of the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement last week will increase the volume of export of non-oil products from Nigeria to other countries, the Executive Director/Chief Executive, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Segun Awolowo, has said.

Awolowo stated this on Monday in Abuja while reacting to the commencement of the TFA as well as highlighting some of the benefits of the agreement to the Nigerian economy.

Nigeria had in January submitted its ratification earlier in Jahrough by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.

The NEPC boss described the ratification of the TFA as a major milestone for global multilateral trade, noting that the commission would work with other relevant government agencies to domesticate and implement the agreement for the benefits of the Nigerian economy

He said, “The ratification of the TFA is indeed a major milestone for global multilateral trade. I am optimistic that Nigeria will go ahead to domesticate and implement the agreement to the letter. We expect remarkable outcomes for international trade through the TFA, which aims to expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit.

“It will reduce bureaucracy at the borders for faster, cheaper and easier trade, and is expected to increase trade and investment. The agreement promotes trade by establishing harmonised rules to further expedite the movement, release and clearance of goods crossing borders, including goods in transit.

“It offers opportunities, especially for the Small and Medium Enterprises to engage in formal export of goods, which have so far been informally traded across borders.”

Awolowo also said that with the agreement, a larger number of exporters would be able to partake in global value chains, thereby enabling all businesses to tap into the huge potential of trade.

He said, “The NEPC is committed to support and work closely with the relevant government agencies, the private sector and international organisations to ensure full implementation of the agreement.

“We will maximise the benefits of the TFA, especially to make export trade the catalyst for achieving national economic turnaround for sustainable development, enhanced annual incomes, improved welfare, reduced trade costs, and ultimately improve the ease of doing business index for the country.”

He also expressed optimism that many small businesses that hitherto found it impossible to trade internationally due to complex regulatory requirements would henceforth be part of the global trade as a result of the agreement.

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