ECOWAS, China sign agreement on trade and investment

China and ECOWAS on October 24, 2012 signed an agreement to bolster trade, economic, investment and technical cooperation between them.

The framework agreement was signed by ECOWAS Commission’s Vice-President, Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh and China’s Vice-Minister of Commerce, Mr. Li Jinzao.

A statement from ECOWAS said the agreement seeks to achieve two core objectives including deepening economic cooperation in trade, services, investment and infrastructural development.

The agreement, officials say, is also intended to “stimulate industrial and technical cooperation” through joint production and ventures, promote technology transfer and stimulate greater interaction between the business sectors of both parties and their financial sectors.

To achieve the objectives of the latest agreement, the statement said both parties agreed to encourage the strengthening of cooperation among their businessmen; exchange information and training on regional and global trade in goods and services; encourage investment mainly in the areas of agriculture, forestry, fishing, quarrying, manufacturing, construction and the financial sector.

It added that both China and ECOWAS are also to promote collaboration in infrastructure development, explore the possibility of developing cross-border infrastructure, encourage contacts among members of their chambers of commerce and encourage their financial institutions to support collaboration in trade, investment and infrastructure development.

A joint committee of both parties, according to the statement, would be set up to monitor the implementation of the agreement, discuss trade and economic issues and offer suggestions for operationalizing the agreement.

By Ekow Quandzie