President Lazarus Chakwera has said African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) offers a huge opportunity to promoting trading among African Union (AU) member states.
He said this in Lilongwe at the end of the 13th Extraordinary Session of African continental Trade for African Union (AU) Head of State and Governments conducting virtually.
Chakwera said the establishment of the AfCFTA opens up to improve trading among African countries by removing trade barriers which were preventing the free flow of goods and services.
He said member states have agreed to implement the initiative from January 1, 2021 while still looking out some of the outstanding issues which need to be resolved.
“We need to deal with trade policies which have huge impact to the lives of women and youth in many countries. The opening up of trade among countries offers great window of hope in order to integrate, industrialize and transform the continent,” the President said.
He added that all necessary instruments need to be put in place and counties should continue to negotiate for win-win situation for the African continent to benefit.
Chakwera said members have requested to submit their traffics for review so that they should be on equal footing in the implementation of the initiative.
He said the continental free trade area requires the support of regional grouping of Southern African Development Community (SADC), West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) and East African Community for it to flourish,”
Chakwera hoped that the private sector within the continent and Malawi in particular would take the opportunity accelerate trading windows made available to them in order expand more.
He said during the opening of the meeting, it was noted that the private sector still remain the engine of propel trading in the continent.
“The private sector drives trade and have the capacity to make Africa grow for the benefit of its people,” Chakwera said.
The President said member states should have similar spirit of taking advantage of the available opportunities to explore and do more trade amongst them.
Malawi’s Minister of Trade and Foreign Affairs attended the virtual meeting.
Chairperson of AU and South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa chaired the meeting,
AfCFTA has the capacity to exploit the 1.2 billion people African market.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :