The ECOWAS Commission has urged the organised private sector and other stakeholders to make quality input into the draft ECOWAS Investment Code and Policy, the adoption of which is crucial to the effective implementation of the regional Common Investment Market (ECIM).
Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion Kaliou Traore told private sector stakeholders at the opening of a three-day meeting on the Draft ECOWAS Investment Code and Policy in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire’s commercial city, that the benefits of a coordinated investment cooperation programme 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 states.
“The harmonisation of national regulatory structures would allow improvements in both the cost and quality of regulation by reducing duplication and capacity constraints,” the Commissioner said.
Also speaking at the occasion, President of the Federation of West African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI)
Bai Matarr Drammeh described Africa as “the next investment destination,” which requires operators on the continent to take maximum advantage of the opportunities, including through effective sensitisation, otherwise “we will be taken for a ride.”
Mr. Sidi Kone, who represented Cote d’Ivoire’s Minister of African Integration, declared the meeting open and charged the participants to make quality contributions to the two documents.
The ECOWAS Director of Private Sector, Mr. 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.
According to the ECOWAS Commission, 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.