ECOWAS experts want legally-backed regional investment policy

Experts from ECOWAS Member States have recommended that proper harmonization of national laws and the gradual adoption of relevant instruments should precede the development of a Common Regional Investment Code and Investment Policy.

This was one of the key recommendations of the regional experts at their week-long meeting that ended in Praia, Cape Verde on May 14, 2012, an ECOWAS statement said.

The meeting examined various national investment laws and policies and agreed a template to provide standard background and understanding of country policies.

According to ECOWAS, a comparative analysis of country reports showed that similarities in Member States’ investment policies exceeded 70%, while differences relate to details and structures of the respective policies in relation to the 10 Investment Policy Frameworks identified.

The meeting also noted remarkable divergences in human resource development policies and financial markets liberalization, particularly pertaining to freedom in capital movement in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) area.

The West African bloc expects the experts to adopt national reports on Member States’ investment policies, to be used as a point of reference for the ECOWAS Investment Policy Framework, which will provide the basis for drafting the ECOWAS Common Investment Policy. This will be based on the results obtained from the analysis, it said.

By Ekow Quandzie

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