• Monday, July 22, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

FG to launch trade development facility

FG to launch trade development facility

…as Okonjo-Iweala’s team arrives

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is leading her team for talks with the Nigerian government on how to drive economic diversification through enhanced exports.

Top on the agenda during the visit is the launch of the Standards Trade Development Facility (STDF) which aims to improve market access for the nation’s exports of agricultural and health products and also to unite governmental and private sector players.

The facility is also to assist Nigerian farmers in producing agricultural products that would have seamless market access overseas.

Upon her arrival Monday afternoon in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala stressed the need for diversification of the economy and pointed out that the STDF requirement could be greatly enhanced by exporting various goods related to trade, health, and agriculture.

Noting how pleased she was to be back home she said, “these are hard times, and we are here to see what we can do to diversify Nigeria’s economy through export. It is fantastic to be back home towards the STDF programme with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to see what we can do to diversify the economy through export in order for the country to move forward with the tough times.”

According to a press statement signed by Henry David for Director Press and Public Relations, the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment, the WTO and the International Trade Centre (ITC) are to provide technical assistance and capacity building support for the facility.

Sequel to the growing concern over Nigeria’s agricultural exports being repeatedly rejected, particularly by the European Union (EU), the country requested the STDF, and capacity building support, from the World Trade Organisation (WTO),

International sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) criteria, as stated in the WTO’s SPS Agreement, are supported by the STDF for developing nations agri-food markets that require exporters to adhere to strict guidelines for the health of animals, plants, and food.

To promote sustainable economic growth, the fight against poverty, and food security and establish long-lasting SPS capacity in emerging nations.

Kashim Shettima Nigeria’s Vice President, Doris Nkiruka Uzoka-Anite Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, and a few other high ranking Government officials will be present for the official introduction of the STDF, later this week in Abuja. The statement added.