The meeting was preceded by the 14th Meeting of the Senior Trade Officials, during which several issues were deliberated. Amongst them are the rules of origin for Textiles and Clothing as well as Automotives, the Ministerial regulations on Special Economic Zones and the nomination of candidates on the Appellate Body of the Dispute Settlement Body.
During his intervention, Hon Minister A. Ganoo emphasized on the need to conclude the outstanding issues most particularly for the textiles and clothing sector, which is one of the main economic sector for the African Continent. He further emphasized on the need for Africa to have predictable rules to encourage investment in the special economic zones and boost employment. It is to be recalled that Mauritius has partnered with several countries in Africa to harness the industrial potential of the region. For example Madagascar, Tanzania, Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal.
The meeting approved the recommendation of the Senior Trade Officials to engage in further consultation to devise the Africa Strategy on Automotives and Textiles & Clothing and has in this context, instructed the Senior Trade Officials to conclude their work on the pending rules on these two most important sectors for Africa by June 2023.
The meeting also recommended the appointment of five persons to the Appellate Body to the AU Ordinary Session of Heads of State and Government for adoption.