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Business News of Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Source: B&FT

Border info post to help traders inaugurated

The USAID West Africa Trade Hub is partnering with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Benin National Shippers’ Council to inaugurate West Africa’s third Border Information Center in Seme, Nigeria, and Krake, Benin respectively.

The new center, which will be inaugurated tomorrow, provides practical information to traders where they need it most- at the border.

The Seme and Krake Border Information center is the third in the region. The first was established at Aflao, Ghana, in August 2011 and the second is at the Burkina Faso –Ghana border with offices in Paga and Dakola, respectively.

The Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Benin National Shippers’ Council are hosting the new center, located at their offices in Nigeria and Benin. The center is sponsored by the USAID Business Environments for Agile Markets (BEAM) project.

The Border Information Centres provide information and assistance to traders to reduce the costs and delays associated with doing trade across borders such as import, export and transit information.

Benin’s Minister of Trade will join Nigeria’s of Trade and Industry with the U. S, Consul-General and high-level stakeholders to perform the inauguration of the center.

The USAID West Africa Trade Hub uses a market-driven approach to increase exports from the region – making West Africa competitive in world markets. The Trade Hub provides direct assistance to hundreds of companies in six value chains.

That work is complemented by teams tackling problems in transportation, telecommunications, access to finance and business environment that make it difficult for West African companies to compete.

In a related development, private sector stakeholders from across West Africa will participate in the second annual conference of the Borderless Alliance, a private sector-led coalition to increase trade across West Africa, will take place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on February 14 and 15, next year.

The stakeholders include the region’s leading trading companies, transport and logistics companies, and banks and other financial institutions. ECOWAS and UEMOA, the regional bodies that obtain the consensus on trade policy from West African states, will also participate along with representatives of ministries from West African states.

The Managing Director of the Borderless Alliance, Justin Bayili said his Alliance serves as a platform to identify and address the problems that affect regional trade.

“We are coordinating the implementation of a comprehensive strategy with private sector stakeholders across West Africa. The conference will allow stakeholders to collaborate on the strategy and built the momentum to driving further change.”

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