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Participants give antidote on achieving global competitiveness

Participants at a High Level Policy and Private Sector Trade and Investment Facilitation Partnership Forum, have reiterated the need to attract over $2.5trillion investments yearly across competitive industries in order to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

A consortium of private sector trade and investment facilitation experts from Nigeria, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), World Trade Organisation (WTO), and Friends of Investment Facilitation for Development (FIFD), has developed action plan for the attraction $2.5trillion investments vide global competitiveness to the region between now and 2030.

The forum that released its communiqué in Abuja on Tuesday, said the feat can only be achieved by synergy that requires complementary polices, institutions, and best practices, domestically, and regional and international cooperation.

Howver, they were of the opinion that issues bordering on creating a favourable business climate and implementing sound market-driven domestic policies are keys to the target progress.

Participants also  adopted what they christened “The Abuja Statement” on, “Deepening Africa’s Integration in the Global Economy through Trade and Investment Facilitation for Development” which was unanimously adopted after intensive deliberations between policy makers and the business community from around the world.

The Statement reaffirmed that trade and investment are inseparable and remain indispensable “twin engines” for economic growth, modernisation and development of Africa.It reiterated the need to scale up investments in “connectivity” – infrastructure – ports, transport corridors and telecommunications networks to enable Africa participate and benefit from today’s integrated and digital global economy. It supported the ongoing Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations in Africa.

According to the statement, “One of the central objectives of the High Level Forum was to examine how the WTO could contribute to facilitating the required investment –as well as trade by developing multilateral approaches to improving transparent, cutting red tape, streamlining procedures and strengthening international cooperation with the aim of expanding sustainable pro-development investment.”

“Participants underscored the importance of enabling developing and least developing countries to increase their participation in global investment flows, including by mobilising resources needed to address their technical and capacity constraints.”

In his remarks, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah noted that “The new narrative of Nigeria out there: that the country is positive, pro-development, pro-business and pro-enabling environment for business.”