‘E-Commerce Vital To $3.4tn AfCFTA Market’

‘E-Commerce Vital To $3.4Tn AfCFTA Market’

Stakeholders have stated that e-commerce has the potential to boost the $3.4tn African Continental Free Trade Area market.

They said this at a workshop in Lagos on Wednesday, which was aimed at examining how Nigeria can take advantage of the free trade initiative.

The workshop, themed “Operationalising the AfCFTA Agreement for Nigerian Businesses through E-Commerce Channel”, was organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Principal Trade Promotion Officer at the Lagos State arm of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Emmanuel Okle, said e-commerce presented a window for Nigerian businesses to also export to other African countries through the AfCFTA platform.

According to him, businesses should ensure that their products are compliant with exporting standards both at home and abroad, to avoid the rejection of their exported goods.

The Coordinator of Policies, Regulations and Laws Workstream, AfCFTA, Fatima Bello said the Guided Trade Initiative was developed to stimulate and encourage trading.

She said, “There are certain requirements, which a State Party must fulfil to participate in the GTI.

“It has received a checklist of eight requirements from the AfCFTA Secretariat in Ghana which it is complying with and is currently in the process of complying with the last outstanding requirement.”

In his welcome address, the President of LCCI, Michael Olawale-Cole, noted that the AfCFTA pact connected over 1.3 billion people across 55 countries with a combined Gross Domestic Product valued at US$3.4tn and has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty.

He added that achieving the full potential of the AfCFTA would depend on putting in place significant policy reforms and trade facilitation measures, particularly in the area of e-commerce.

He said, “E-commerce is expanding rapidly in Africa, presenting an important opportunity for accessing untapped regional, continental and global markets, creating jobs and improving living standards.”

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