By MUHAMMED S. BAH
National Assembly Members recently ratified a trade agreement between the Gambia and Ethiopia.
Tabling the motion before law makers, Abdou Jobe, the Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MoTIE), said the trade agreement was signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the two governments on 31 January, 2012.
This agreement, Minister Jobe said, is within the broader framework in strengthening economic cooperation between the two countries, adding that it also aims at developing and expanding trade relationships between the Gambia and Turkey.
“The agreement will also help in creating favourable conditions to development and diversifications of trade and mutual benefits of the two countries. Once ratified the agreement will enable the two countries to adopt appropriate measures to encourage and facilitate trade cooperation as well as promote the development on trade in accordance with the laws and regulations of each of our countries,” stated Minister Jobe.
Describing trade between the two countries as important, he said a strong bilateral relationship exist between the two governments which, according to him, provided the opportunity to improve trade performance between the two countries.
He further said that the two governments are committed to joining the private sectors between the two countries, exchange and expand information on trade matters, encouraging and facilitating of commercial contracts between them, eliminating tariff barriers likely to impede trade activities between the two countries.
“In order to facilitate the implementation of the trade agreement, a joint trade committee shall be established, which will meet every two years to review and take stock of the implementation of the trade agreement,” he added.
According to the trade minister, the Agreement will come into force upon the exchange of the instrument of ratification ratified by the two countries through the diplomatic channels.
“We have been informed that the Ethiopians have already ratified the agreement. So following our ratification, the agreement shall remain four to five years and shall be automatically renewed between four to five years, unless any of the parties advance its intention to terminate it,” he disclosed.
Law makers in their intervention referred to the agreement as non-controversial and finally ratified it.