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4 March 2016

Rabat — The Economic Commission for Africa (Office for North Africa) concluded, Friday 4 March 2016 in Rabat, its 31st Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE). During this four day meeting, more than 150 delegates, experts, academics, private sector and civil society representatives studied the potential role of green economy in accelerating industrialization in North Africa.

At the end of the meeting, participants called for the development of an environment friendly industry and a more inclusive growth model in the subregion. They also encouraged States to pay special attention to the impact of industrial policies on the environment, employment, growth and trade, as well as on the potential role of green economy in development.

The "green industrialization" challenge in North Africa requires stronger regional cooperation, to share experiences and pool efforts in order to generate and take advantage of as many opportunities as possible in the sector.

In addition, following an expert group meeting organized on the margins of the ICE meeting on "Industrialization through trade in North Africa in a multi-agreement context", participants called for regional integration to be considered as a strategic industrialization lever. They urged countries in the subregion to accelerate such an integration to speed up industrial development. As industrialization can no longer be designed in isolation, cooperation between countries is also viewed as necessary to achieve the joint development of dynamic competitive advantages at the regional level.

In addition to these two meetings, two ECA-specialized institutions -the African Trade Policy Center (ATPC) and the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) joined the Office for North Africa to organize a high level trade policy dialogue in preparation for the start of negotiations for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) in April 2016. The CFTA is an opportunity for North African countries to access a market with more than 1.1 billion inhabitants. Industrialization in the subregion should be designed taking into account the CFTA, and countries are encouraged to ensure its consistency with commitments made in relation with other trade agreements.

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is one of the five regional commissions of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In North Africa, ECA's sub-regional office aims to support development across the region (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Tunisia and Sudan) by helping the countries set up and apply policies and programmes that can contribute to their economic and social transformation.

Press release issued by:

Communication Team

Economic Commission for Africa

Office for North Africa

Tel: +212 (0) 537 548 749

Email: hfilali-ansary@uneca.org;cea.an.coms@gmail.com

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