The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has posited that the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) would need the support and expertise of the new Director General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for a smooth take-off and steady success as a huge component of the world economy.
The Director General, Segun Kadiri, who made the assertion following appointment of Okonjo-Iweala as the DG of the WTO, said the position was a plus for the country in the international community and a welcome development for Africa, with the onset of the AfCFTA agreement, adding that it would embolden the exploits of African nations in deals with the rest of the world.
Congratulating the new DG who is now first African and first female DG of the international body in its 25-year history, the MAN boss averred that the AfCFTA which will cover a market of 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of more that $3 trillion would need her expertise for a smooth take-off and steady success as a huge component of the world economy.
He said while not guaranteeing unmerited advantages and disproportionate treatment, having an African at the helm of affairs in the WTO should give some comfort of understanding and assuage the noticeable anxieties of African countries in the world trade parlance.
“There is no doubt that the WTO is in need of major reforms. The experience and expertise Okonjo-Iweala is bringing to the organisation will provide the needed guidance to forge the reforms. She has real experience in the field, both at National and international levels.
“There is also an international dimension to this. As you are aware, America President Donald Trump was vehemently against her candidacy. So her emergence is one of the gains of the defeat of Trump. And for President Joe Biden, the fact that we have her as the DG of the WTO today, represents a distinguishing trade policy from the Trump era and a fulfilment of his promise to revive international cooperation.He noted a lot of work awaits the WTO DG, as there has to be substantial changes in deciding and enforcing the rules of global trade. (Sun)