Diversification key to intra-African trade
Addis Ababa, May 10, 2012 (WIC) – Minister Mekonnen Manyazewal, Ethiopia’s Minister of Industry (MoI), called for the need to diversify trade among African countries to boost intra-African.
Speaking at a plenary on Advancing Africa’s Trade Agenda at the World Economic Forum on 2012, currently underway in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the minister said that addressing trade challenges is crucial in boosting intra-Africa.
The minister said that addressing issues of trade diversifications, increasing production as well as tackling capacity, including infrastructural problems will be vital to advance the continent’s regional and global trade agenda.
The panel was attended by Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Mahmoud Eisa, Ministry of Trade and Foreign Trade of Egypt, Jean-Louis Ekra, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Egypt’s African Export-Import Bank and Jaidev R. Shroff, CEO of United Phosphorus (UPL) of India.
Pascal contended that the current global market system is ideal to address issues of diversification or specialization.
“To reach out to a global market, a full-fledged industrial economy is needed,” said Director-General of WTO during the forum held in Ethiopia for the first time.
Mekonnen underscored the need to start with a national policy that takes into account where a country’s comparative advantage lies. He urged the need to administrative issues, institutional capability, linking trade with investment and value addition.
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