Representatives of regional organized private sector and other stakeholders rose from their three-day meeting in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on Saturday, validating the draft ECOWAS Investment Code and Policy, with minor amendments.
According to a press statement from the ECOWAS Commission, the validation is one of the key steps towards the adoption of the instruments necessary for the effective implementation of the regional Common Investment Market (ECIM).
At the three-day meeting, called to incorporate their input, the participants applauded the two documents, saying they met the required principles and standards that would ensure a conducive and competitive environment for successful private sector operations in the region.
The key objective of the regional Investment Code and Policy is to “entrench an investment friendly environment for both domestic and foreign investment to enhance the structural transformation of Member States economies in order to create wealth, improve incomes and reduce poverty, while deepening regional economic integration”.
The next step after the private sector validation is to enlist the support of the Investment Promotion Agencies (IPA) and regional Ministers of Commerce, as well as sector Ministers, who will then recommend the Code and Policy to the Council of Ministers for adoption before implementation.
It said that the ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, Mr. Kalilou Traore, and the Director of Private Sector, Mr. Alfred Braimah, thanked the private sector stakeholders for their contributions to the regional instruments, the adoption of which 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.
Among 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.
The meeting was attended by, among others, the President and Chief Executives of Chambers of Commerce of Member States, the President of the ECOWAS Federation of Business Women and Entrepreneurs (FEBWE), ECOWAS Commission officials and Resource Persons of the Code and Policy drafting Committees