News Date: April 11 2018
Lawmakers from Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and the European Union (ACP- EU) on Wednesday pledged support for trade liberalization as a means to promote economic growth, peace and security.
The lawmakers who attended a joint assembly in Nairobi said they will rally behind efforts to open up markets, promote skills transfer and investments in order to achieve prosperity for all.
Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Monica Juma in her opening remarks at the lawmakers' forum said that a political dialogue is key to boost integration that lies at the heart of globalization.
"From an African standpoint, we support integration that will hasten structural transformation of our economies. Our integration agenda must focus on trade, investments, peace, security and innovations," said Juma.
Dozens of lawmakers from Africa, Caribbean, Pacific and the European Union are attending the three-day joint assembly in Nairobi to discuss critical areas of bilateral cooperation that would unleash mutual benefits.
Juma said elected representatives have a duty to promote open trade in goods and services and technology transfer in critical sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and health.
"Parliaments have an obligation to promote deepening of trade ties and issues of peace, energy, environmental management, innovations and food security," Juma said.
She hailed the establishment of an African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA), saying it will boost the continent's bargaining power in the global markets.
Lawmakers from the global south and the EU will support a multilateral trade regime that could guarantee prosperity and security for all citizens irrespective of their nationality, creed and color.
Joseph Kono, the Co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, said well-structured economic partnership agreements coupled with infrastructure development will promote inclusive development.
"The regional parliamentary assemblies should articulate ways to expand market access and promote investments in sectors that have a promising future," said Kono.