July 5, 2017 - PM Hailemariam Dessalegn said Ethiopia is not ready to enter Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), considering its effect on the economy of the country, according to ENA.
Seven countries including Ethiopia disagreed on the negotiations to fully open their doors for the continental free trade area.
They argued the need to open their doors step by step as it requires readiness in the side of the countries, Hailemariam said during a press conference.
To fully open its doors for the free trade area, Hailemariam noted that it is important that the country need to create a conducive atmosphere that complies with the situation.
In this regard, Ethiopia believes that it is proper to open its doors to the free market step by step since its economy is not ready yet, he said.
"We took a stand on sensitive issues that would bring negative impact on the country and the people, and we are happy that this stand of ours has been accepted by other countries."
"Our decision is to work together and trade with our fellow African countries in areas other than the sensitive issue" Hailemariam underlined. "We are also happy that our difference was respected."
Some 86 percent of the expected 90 percent of African countries have agreed for the implementation the continental free trade area.
In a briefing he gave to journalist on the current progress of CFTA process Tuesday, Niger President, Issoufou Mahadou said the negotiations will continue with the countries that disagree on the implementation to put into practice the CFTA in 2018.
The first phase of the negotiations to be completed by 2017 is focusing on trade in goods and services, while the second phase will focus on competition, investment and intellectual property rights.
In line with the Abuja Treaty and the African Union Agenda 2063, African heads of state and government launched the negotiations for the Continental Free Trade Area in 2015. The target date set for completing the first phase of the negotiations is 2017. (ENA)