The adoption of a regional investment Code and Policy would remove obstacles to doing business.
The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Commission has asked the organized private sector and other stakeholders to make quality input into the draft version of the ECOWAS Investment Code and Policy.
The adoption of the two instruments is crucial to the effective implementation of the regional Common Investment Market, ECIM.
The Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Kaliou Traore, was speaking at the three-day meeting on the Draft ECOWAS Investment Code and Policy in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital.
Among the benefits of a coordinated investment cooperation programme, he said, are increased investment from both within and outside ECOWAS sources and freer flow of capital, skilled labour, professionals and technology between Member States.
This, he said, would also create opportunities for portfolio diversification and regional risk sharing, making investors’ access to credit no longer constrained by domestic savings or individual Member
The harmonization of national regulatory structures, he said, would allow improvements in both the cost and quality of regulation by reducing duplication and capacity constraints, “the Commissioner
On his part, he said the Commission was simultaneously working on other programmes to enhance a conducive environment for the regional investment code and policy to thrive.
The programmes include Regional Payment and Settlement System; Credit Risk Database and Reporting, Investment Guaranty and Reinsurance Scheme; Regional Capital Market Integration and Development; Investment Climate Monitoring and Benchmarking, and the Framework for Regional Financial Market Integration.
The President of the Federation of West African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FEWACCI, Bai Matarr Drammeh, described Africa as “the next investment destination,” requiring operators on the continent to take maximum advantage of the opportunities, including through effective sensitization, otherwise “we will be taken for a ride.”
Declaring the meeting open, Sidi Kone, who represented Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of African Integration, charged the participants to make quality contributions to the two documents.
The ECOWAS Director of Private Sector, Alfred Braimah, traced the background to the regional Investment Code and Policy initiative and paid tribute to the European Union Business Climate Facility for ACP Countries (EU-BizClim) for the study on the framework for the two documents.
The Abidjan meeting is a platform for stakeholders to discuss and agree on the content of the Code and Policy as well as an avenue for the private sector to be sensitized on the provisions of the documents so as to harness their views and court their support for their adoption.
The adoption of a regional investment Code and Policy would remove obstacles to doing business and provide efficient and effective regulatory framework to promote healthy competition and growth of the private sector in the region.
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