The Minister in charge of Trade of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Jean Louis Billon, has highly commended Borderless Alliance for its efforts and hard work to ensuring trade takes place in West Africa and elsewhere according to the rules of international trade. He commended the Alliance for making the choice of regional trade and food security as the central theme for discussion at its 2015 annual conference.
In a keynote address read on his behalf during the opening ceremony of the Borderless 2015 Annual conference, the Minister emphasized the role of trade in the economic and social life of every country. He said that many studies have shown that a simple one-point increase in exports of agricultural products for example could generate about 0.5 to 1.8% global economic growth rates in some developing countries. He stressed the fact that many trade barriers still persist in the region despite the existence of a of trade liberalization scheme.
Road harassment, illegal levies/ taxes, restrictions on the export of grain and other food products, the issue of certificates of origin, veterinary, sanitary and phyto-sanitary certificates and so on, he said, are factors that affect the purchasing power, and the ability of households to access food. He added that a further trade liberalization can be a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty; stressing that the removal of many barriers to trade within countries would be as important as improvements in access to external markets.