Angola reiterates commitment to Continental Trade Zone

The secretary of State for Trade, Amadeu Leitão Nunes, Monday in Luanda reiterated Angola’s engagement in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Speaking at the opening of the 9th Meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body of the ACFTA, he stressed that the process of its implementation is challenging, especially for those states with greater vulnerabilities in terms of internal structures.

Regarding the meeting, he stressed that the Protocol on Dispute Settlement, a mechanism established by Article 20 of the Framework Agreement, appears as a fundamental instrument to ensure the necessary legal security and predictability.

Amadeu Leitão Nunes added that these are essential aspects for the decision-making of economic operators and investors, in relation to the use of a given market.

The secretary of State said that there are completely progressive aspects regarding arbitration, giving the necessary appropriation and regional harmonization of the Arbitration Rules and Procedures, with jurisdiction to solve issues related to the application and interpretation of any legal instrument of the LCCA.

In his opinion, the harmonization of concepts, the introduction of innovative and conciliatory methods for the resolution of commercial disputes, between States, conciliation and mediation, or arbitration, consistent with the provisions and principles of the Agreement, allows an internal appropriation of the processes, favourable for the implementation of the obligations, both in the trade of goods and in the trade of services.

Amadeu Leitão Nunes stressed that, in the specific case of Angola, voluntary arbitration is established, materializing the provisions of paragraph 4 of article 174 of the Constitution, which determines the existence of extrajudicial means of dispute resolution.

He assured that “ad hoc” and institutional arbitration are recognized in the country, and among the existing arbitration institutions, the Center for Extrajudicial Dispute Resolution stands out, as a public initiative center, belonging to the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights.

He added that as for private centers, the country has only one, the Harmony Arbitration Center.

According to the Secretary of State, these institutions will allow a greater insertion of Angola in the continent’s arbitration process.

The 9th Meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body of the African Continental Free Trade Area – CFTA takes place from March 20 to 24.

During the meeting, the 5 members of the Appellate Body will be sworn in by the African Union Conference of Heads of State and Government, something that the secretary of State considered a clear signal for the materialization of one of the most crucial instruments of the ACFTA, arbitration

Source: Angola Press News Agency (APNA)