TRALAC - Trade Law Centre

Sierra Leone: Chamber of Commerce Says AGOA Enhances Africa Trade

Monday, 05 December 2005

Source: Concord Times (Freetown, Sierra Leone)

Blanche Gooding, Treasurer of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce Friday disclosed that the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) was designed to enhance trade in Africa.

Gooding who was speaking at a press briefing at the Chamber's Guma Building office says the Act provides unprecedented opportunities, which is aimed to promote increased trade and investment between United States and African countries, and also increased access and opportunities for US investors and African countries.

"The AGOA Act offers opportunities and encourage eligible African countries to create enabling environment to strengthen prospects for expanded trade and investment," Gooding said and adds that AGOA has lifted all existing quotas on textiles and apparels products from sub- saharan Africa.

She explained that this special investment incentive for poorer African countries is aimed at providing a market stimulus to economic development and 37 out of 48 countries in African have met the basic eligibility criteria set out by the United States.

"The eligibility requirement contained in the AGOA Act was developed in consultation with African countries.

The criteria reflect an understanding that trade benefits and market access accorded in the Act will only generate sustainable economic growth and development," she said and pointed out that the criteria constitutes 'best practice' policies that would ultimately attract trade and investment.

"Sierra Leone has an effective 'visa system' with the United States in compliance with the AGOA Act for textiles apparel into the US market including rules of origin," she stated.