Iipumbu attends AfCFTA Council of Ministers responsible for trade meet in Ghana
The Meeting of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Council of Ministers responsible for Trade commenced this week in Accra, Ghana, where the Minister of Industrialisation and Trade, Lucia Iipumbu is in attendance, a statement released this week said.
The ministers are expected to consider the report of the 11th Meeting of the Senior Trade Officials and the Report of the 5th meeting of the Committee of Director General of Customs. The ministers will also be presented with the Report of the AfCFTA Dispute Settlement Body.
Namibia is among the Member States that have submitted their draft Schedule of Specific Commitments on Trade in Services to the AfCFTA Secretariat, which has been verified to meet the requirement/ modalities for trade in service negotiations that member states should improve their offers at the WTO.
The other Member States that submitted the Draft Schedules of Specific Commitments include Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the East African Community, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Zambia, to name a few.
According to a ministerial statement, Iipumbu, will during the two-day deliberations emphasise the need for a speedy conclusion on trade in service negotiations, given the fact that service trade contributes immensely to Africa’s gross domestic product.
The AfCFTA Council of Ministers responsible for Trade will consider outstanding issues on Rules of Origin for Tobacco, Sugar, Textiles and clothing, and Automotive.
Namibia seeks to expedite the conclusion regarding sugar negotiations by imploring member states to move towards a compromising situation of giving and take to make a positive stride on the issue.
Conclusively, at the same gathering, the Council of Ministers will deliberate on the automotive package (consisting of the Automotive Strategy; Automotive Implementation Plan, and proposed Rules of Origin), which aims to facilitate an agreement on the outstanding issues under automotive. Namibia is likely to support the adoption to intensify advocacy on customs-related matters, domestications of the AfCFTA instruments, and engagements of stakeholders and business operators.