West African countries have resolved to simplify business registration processes to ease and facilitate smooth trade in the sub-region.
The decision is in a communique of the Private Sector Day at end of the 9th West Africa Monetary Zone Trade Ministers’ Forum in Abuja on Friday.
The theme of this year’s forum is “Harnessing Intra-West Africa MonetaryZone (WAMZ) Trade Potential Through Value Addition and Diversification.”
The communique was read by the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Mansur Ahmed.
It stated that member countries must provide policy support and offer soft credit facilities to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) because they constitute greater share of intra-regional trade actors.
It noted that member nations must avoid policy inconsistency and improve communication, as well as ensure policy sustainability.
“Members should maintain constant communication and engagement with private sector in the area of monitoring and evaluation of trade policy implementation as feedback will engender greater efficiency and policy improvement.
“Member countries should also adopt participatory and inclusive approach in policy formulation, execution and regulation for desirable impact.
“We also resolved to explore the possibility of facilitating national currency swap agreements among members states through respective central banks, similar to the one between some member states and China with a view to improving trade financing in the zone.”
According to the communique, member countries will further promote quoting and trading in the WAMZ national currencies.
The communique emphasised the need to take necessary measures to strengthen institutional capacity of relevant departments and agencies to improve public policy execution.
It noted that part of the resolutions was to explore the possibility of forging cooperation between the trade ministries and manufacturers associations.