17. Thanks to its infrastructure, including the deep-water autonomous port, Lom and Niamtougou International Airport, its export free zone, road network, etc., Togo is a commercial hub for the West African sub-region and serves, in a spirit of solidarity and complementarity, as a relay for imports and exports from its neighbours. , especially landlocked countries. – strengthen the country`s participation in international trade organizations; Togo is one of 16 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The ECOWAS Development Fund is headquartered in Lomé. Togo is also a member of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), which brings together seven West African countries with the CFA franc. The West African Development Bank (BOAD), which is linked to UEMOA, is headquartered in Lomé. Togo has long served as a regional banking centre, but this position has been undermined by political instability and the economic downturn of the early 1990s. Historically, France has been Togo`s main trading partner, although other European Union countries are important to the Togolese economy. Total U.S. trade with Togo is about $16 million per year. As a signatory to the fourth Lom Convention, Togo receives EU support and benefits from the Export Revenue Stabilization System (STABEX). Under the agreement, many Togolese exports to the EU receive non-reciprocal preferential treatment in the form of an exemption from import duties.
Similarly, Togolese products benefit, under the generalised preference system, from non-reciprocal preferential access to markets in industrialized countries other than those of the Member States of the European Union. The scope of this non-reciprocal preferential treatment is limited, in particular because of the small number of products exported by Togo, namely: Raw materials which, in importing countries, are generally subject to zero or very low import duties of MFN. Since July 1998, Togo has not participated in dispute settlement procedures under the GATT, WTO or any other trade agreement it has signed. The WTO report, accompanied by a political statement from the Togolese government, will form the basis for Togo`s trade review to be held at the WTO on 27-28 January. 18. Beyond this concern for national, regional and continental affairs, Togo has been more than just a table in the new international economic and trade context. Togo`s trade minister said Tuesday that the U.S. African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is “not being optimally exploited” by African economies. This is what Bernadette Legzim-Balouki, Togolese Minister of Trade and Promotion of the Private Sector, said at the meeting on the private sector and civil society at the 16th AGOA Forum in Lomé, the Togolese capital.