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ECOWAS deliberates on west Africa-European union partnership agreement institutional framework
 photo officialsA regional meeting on the Institutional Framework and EPA Development Programme within the framework of the West Africa/European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), opened at La Palm Beach Hotel, Lomé, the Capital of the Togolese Republic on Wednesday 14th October, 2015.

The objective of the meeting is to consider proposals for the appropriate institutional structures to support the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), as well as to review the EPA Development Programme (EPADP), Operational plans which form the basis of the development dimension of the Agreement. The meeting gathered experts in charge of EPA in the 16 West African countries.

The main objective of the West Africa/European Union EPA are to promote regional integration in West Africa and the gradual integration of West African economies into the World trading system, through the establishment of a free trade area, which will gradually eliminate trade restrictions between both trading partners.

In July 2014, the ECOWAS Heads of State endorsed the EPA and the signature process is currently on-going. The regional agreement covers goods and development cooperation and includes a provision for further negotiations on other areas including services.

The meeting was declared open by Ms Essozima Legzim BALOUKI, Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Promotion and Tourism of the Togolese Republic; her remarks were delivered by BAMAN BAROMA M.Thimotée, Secretary General.

Similarly, Mr. Ahmed HAMID, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, made opening remarks on behalf of ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions.

The meeting is scheduled to close on Friday, 16thday of October, 2015.

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