West-African employers have been meeting since Tuesday in Abidjan during an Ordinary General Assembly (AGO) for the Federation of employers’ organizations of West Africa (FOPAO).
According to Jean Kacou Diagou, chairman of FOPAO, this session, punctuated with communications, will allow West-African employers to get informed and acquainted on the questions related to « the Common external tariff (CET) for ECOWAS and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as well as the policy of ECOWAS for industry and Private sector« .
The works that are taking place at the Company House of Abidjan were opened by the Minister of Industry and mines, Jean-Claude Brou.
The latter underlined that two subjects are in perfect adequacy with the economic current events and the future economic terms in the region marked by the implementation of EPA with the European Union and the getting into force of CET for ECOWAS from 1st January 2015.
« EPA has been at the heart of long and difficult negotiations during the recent ten years before the adoption, by the African heads of States in July 2014 in Accra, of a consensual agreement that remains to be ratified by our Parliaments« , reminded the Minister of Industry and mines.
For him, it is important for the private sector and government to take the necessary measures to prepare the State economies to join this new era of commercial cooperation and regional integration.
Apart from a rate of liberation of several current tariff lines spread over a period of 20 years, « The agreement plans a sector of technical support and financial assistance for the implementation of EPA Development Program (EPADP) for the advantage of industrial companies of the region« , specified Mr. Brou.
« The Common external tariff that will get into force in January 2015 will mark an important stage in the construction of the common market« , he indicated, inviting FOPAO to make sensitive the operators of the region so that they take over this CET as well as its accompanying measures.
Original text by: Blaise AKAME