Over the past five years, Mali has remained Senegal’s main trade client as it has imported on average 43.5% of its neighbor’s exports to countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Senegalese Agency for Export Promotion (ASEPEX) said in a statement recently. ASEPEX, which made a review of the situation of intra-regional exports, emphasized that in 2014, exports were directed mainly to Mali (36.5%), Cote d’Ivoire (12.2%), Guinea (11.8%), Gambia (9.1%), Burkina Faso (7.8%) and Guinea-Bissau (6.4%). These destinations account for almost all exports to ECOWAS countries.
Thus, ASEPEX said Senegal’s exports to ECOWAS countries amounted to 405.4 billion CFA francs in 2014 against 415.9 billion CFA francs in 2013, representing a 2.5% decline. This development is attributable to the decline in exports of finished petroleum products (over 20.7%), cigarettes (minus 15.3%) and crude salt (minus 8.8%).
On the other hand, the increase in fresh sea fish exports (over 26.7%) mainly to Cote d’Ivoire has reduced the downward trend. Products exported in 2014 to ECOWAS countries are mainly cement (21.9%), sea fresh fish (10.7%), fuel (4.9%), cigarettes (3.7%), fertilizer (3%) and crude salt (2%).
In 2011, The Chamber of Commerce of Dakar (CCIAD) and the Chamber of Commerce of Mali (CCIM) signed an agreement for the free movement of goods using TRIE (TRIE is an ECOWAS tool to facilitate trans-border trade for member states by reducing road controls)as a platform; on the Dakar-Bamako corridor.
The agreement helped road haulers travel through the Dakar-Bamako road without any disturbances at the borders’ customs points, and consolidated trade and cooperation between Mali and Senegal, resulting to an economic profit for Malian and Senegalese operators.