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Nigeria has signed a joint declaration on economic cooperation with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which is expected to allow both parties to work on a framework to increase trade and investment flows
The EFTA-Nigeria declaration was signed in Argentina, on the sidelines of the 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). It will be implemented by a joint commission of both parties.
Under the agreement, the areas of cooperation include trade in goods, customs and tariffs and trade facilitation, trade in services, investment, protection of intellectual property rights including enforcement, trade and sustainable development, digital economy including ecommerce, trade and investment related issues pertaining to small and medium-sized enterprises and any other areas of cooperation as mutually agreed by the parties involved.
Meanwhile, members of the Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development (FIFD), of which Nigeria is a member, adopted a joint ministerial statement on investment facilitation in Buenos Aires.
The FIFD statement noted that following the Abuja Statement adopted at the High Level Forum on Trade and Investment Facilitation for Development in November 2017, the group will continue its outreach to WTO members on the subject matter. It further called for discussions to identify and develop a framework for facilitating foreign direct investments, improving transparency, exchanging best practices, sharing information and speeding up administrative processes among others.
Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, vice-chairman of the ministerial conference, said, “We’re delighted to see the commitment of several countries on the issue of trade and investment. It is clear that these two are complementary. This is consistent with the government’s ease of doing business agenda and will help Nigeria create sorely needed jobs as well as improve productivity.”