West Africa inter-regional trade stands at 10% – UNIDO
On May 11, 2012 · In Business

BY Daniel Gumm

THE United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) has lamented that among over 70 per cent of trade by the European Union countries is among themselves, the inter-regional trade between the West African sub-region stands at abysmally 10 per cent.

The Country Representative of UNIDO in Nigeria, Patrick Kormawa made the remarks in Abuja at the meeting of the Regional Steering Committee of the West Africa Quality Programme (WAQP)-transition phase.

The WAQP is a capacity building programme executed by UNIDO on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission and the UEMOA Commission funded by the EU to provide support to competitiveness and harmonisation of Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary in West Africa.

The specific objectives of the programme is to create an environment that facilitates compliance with international trade rules and technical regulations through the establishment and strengthening of national and regional quality infrastructure that provide effective standardisation, conformity assessment and accreditation that meets international standards.

The UNIDO Country Representative in Nigeria said that inter-regional trade within North America stands at 30 per cent, Asia 40 to 50 per cent while Latin America stands at 30 perc ent.

He said: “This means that we need more work to ensure that we promote trade within our sub-region and quality standard metrology certification and the rest of the issue that this programe deals with are the prerequisite to promote such trade.

“Trade is a very important aspect in the economic development and we cannot trade in this sub-region if we are not able to bring our products to quality and standard that are required on the international market and even also here in the regional market.”

Speaking, the Representative of the European Union, Mr. Manuel Iglesias said that regional integration is not happening in reality in West Africa, adding that the programme will help in the integration process and improve trade within the sub-region as well the national economies.

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