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  • ***NOTN delegation participates in the G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting where delegates, discussed current issues in international trade including digital trade, with a view to developing a consensus draft Ministerial Statement on Trade and Investment for the G20 Ministers of Trade and Digital Economy meeting scheduled to hold in June 2019 *** NOTN delegation also participated in the T20-G20 roundtable and gained further research-based insights from the T20 policy briefs and recommendations on digital trade, WTO reforms as well as trade and investment for sustainable and inclusive growth *** NOTN circulates approved draft market access schedule of concession on trade in goods as a basis for the ECOWAS draft schedule for AfCFTA *** NOTN initiates process of consultative engagement with stakeholders on AfCFTA Phase II negotiations on Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). Stakeholders commenced with identification of negotiating priorities *** Stakeholders agree that the safeguard of the IP of Right Holders remains critical to Nigeria’s economic growth, export of Nigeria’s soft power, modernization of the economy and job creation. ***

Nigerian Elected Chairman of CFTA Negotiations Forum for Africa

A Nigerian by name Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe has been elected as the Chairman of the Negotiating Forum for the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) for Africa Osakwe was elected Chairman of the 54-member Negotiating Forum in Niamey, Niger, on June 5th, during the 6th cycle of the negotiations for the CFTA. Other members of the Bureau are: First Vice Chairman (Swaziland); Second Vice Chairman (Ethiopia); Third Vice Chairman (Chad); and Rapporteur (Algeria) This puts Nigeria at the forefront of the negotiations, where it is expected to show leadership and work with the Bureau to drive the CFTA to conclusion Reacting to his election, Osakwe said: “we have a duty to deliver on an integrated market for goods and services in Africa and, as a consequence, generate a radical boost for intra-African trade The seasoned negotiator and diplomat added: “the responsibility we have is a major challenge and at the same time a unique opportunity to contribute to growth, job creation and poverty reduction in Africa. Concluding the CFTA is also of necessity, for improving intra-African trade as part of a broader response to a global economy in rapid and uncertain change. Nigeria is grateful for this honor to serve and lead.” The African Union (AU) has set a deadline of December 2017 for the adoption of the CFTA. Nevertheless, it is believed that adoption would depend on how much progress is made by the end of the year. When concluded, the CFTA will enhance the movement of goods and services, boost trade facilitation and support the Presidential Initiative on the Ease of Doing Business within the 54-member block of the continent. Osakwe is currently the Trade Adviser to the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Chief Negotiator for Nigeria. He provides technical advice on trade policy and structural reforms to the Economic Management Team (EMT). He has published widely and lectured globally on trade policy, growth and development. The thematic focus in his writings revolves around the critical importance for rapid growth of structural reforms, competition law and policy, the market economy, good governance and the rule of law.