Ethiopia Working Aggressively To Finalize Its Accession To WTO, Implement AfCFTA

 Ethiopia is aggressively working to finalize its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the coming three years, Minister of Trade and Regional Integration, Gebremeskel Chala remarked.

The National Committee on the WTO membership negotiations and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) held its meeting today in Addis Ababa.

The Committee was established recently by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to oversee WTO membership negotiations and the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Briefing the media regarding the meeting, the Trade and Regional Integration Minister recalled that Ethiopia has been in the process of accession to the World Trade Organization since 2003.

Although many works have been carried out, the negotiations have not yet been completed as there are several issues to be addressed.

The meeting will discuss several questions that were raised by member countries at the 4th working group meeting of WTO membership negotiations held in 2020.

Activities are also underway to address these and other issues which are vital to accelerate the negotiation process.

Currently, the WTO negotiation process is being conducted with the utmost priority and it is planned to be completed by the year 2026, he added.

Ethiopia is also showing its commitment to expediting its accession to the WTO, it was indicated.

Besides this, the minister said the government is working hard to implement the AfCFTA, which aims to eliminate barriers to intra-African trade progressively and create trade interactions among all countries in the continent, ENA reported.

The product tariff the country has set to participate in AfCFTA has recently been accepted by the Council of African Trade Ministers, Gebremeskel said.

The African Continental Free Trade Area, a flagship project of Agenda 2063 aimed at creating a single African market that creates the world’s largest free trade area by bringing together the 55 countries with a population of about 1.3 billion and a combined GDP of approximately 3.4 trillion USD, was launched two years ago.

Source: FBC

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