The federal government says it is committed to supporting market access for trade in services under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The position of the federal government was made known yesterday in Abuja by the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum at the validation workshop for the report of the study on supporting market access for trade in services under AfCFTA for Nigeria.
The validation workshop was organised by the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations (NOTN) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) of the Department of Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (OFCDO), United Kingdom.
Represented by her Technical Assistant, Mr Aminu Dogondaji, the minister described trade as an engine of economic growth with the potential to create jobs, reduce poverty and increase economic opportunities.
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According to her, “Nigeria and other developing countries, especially those that are landlocked, need to adopt pragmatic policies and approaches to overcome these obstacles in order to fully reap the benefits of global markets.
“With respect to trade in services, it is to be acknowledged that the sector has become the backbone of the modern economy, contributing more to economic growth and job opportunities than manufacturing, agriculture and mining put together,” Katagum said.
She urged NOTN to consult with services exporters to better understand the prevailing constraints and further initiate collaboration with sector-specific regulatory professional and private sector bodies in targeted partner countries.
Also speaking, Amb. Fred Agah, Director–General, NOTN, said the study would provide Nigeria with better understanding and the ability to analyse the sectors and identify areas to engage as it was appropriate to understand the situation of every economy or the sector of negotiation.
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