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AfCFTA has capacity to boost intra-African trade with $1.27bn — Stakeholders

Stakeholders of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) says AfCFTA has the capacity to boost intra-african trade and is expected to deliver an integrated continental market consisting of 1.27 billion consumers with aggregate GDP of $3.4 trillion.

The Trade Promotion Advisor, Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) Lokoja Smart Office, Mrs. Amina Abdulmalik made this known at the Export Market Access Awareness Workshop preparing MSMEs for AfCFTA in Kogi State.

According to her, Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa has the potential to greatly increase its trading volumes, production capacity, and generation of foreign investment.

“However, as a country, we can only fully benefit from this opportunity if we are adequately prepared for the impending changes that will affect our business environment, it is necessary that we understand the full-scale impact that AfCFTA will have on all people and the business, especially in terms of job creation and economic activities.

“We need to effectively utilize the opportunities that have been created by this trade agreement to develop our local production capacity and achieve our industrial aspirations.

“The Nigerian Export Promotion Council also in its effort to help drive and see to the success of the policies governing the AfCFTA. The Council has opened up market access for Nigerian goods abroad through the establishment of Export Trade Houses (ETH) in Togo, Kenya, and Egypt and more Export Trade House to be opened in the nearest future.

“The Export Trade Houses serve as showrooms in these countries, where Nigerian goods are put on display for interested importers from those countries so they can place their orders.

She noted that MSMEs also need compliance support and management resources to compete globally, to be part of global supply chains, and to grow into a stronger enterprise.

“We hope to work with the state government entities and business associates to enhance training and capacity building support, including the federal. I wish to assure you of the Council’s commitment to ensure continued collaboration with stakeholder’s/key payers to improve the non-oil export performance.

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