The European Parliament on Thursday adopted the report on the future of EU-Africa trade relations, with Gabriel Mato MEP negotiating the text on behalf of the European People's Party (EPP). "The document is a crucial step towards redoubling our presence in African markets, while promoting the development of the neighbouring continent," he said.
"The European Union must be its priority partner and the commitment must be strategic", stressed Gabriel Mato, who also said that African markets "are among the most dynamic and with the greatest potential in the world", and that "European companies, and in particular SMEs, should not be left out of these business opportunities".
He also explained that "the data show that Africa is growing economically and demographically, and that it has natural resources". He recalled that the implementation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is a sign that Africa is increasingly promoting its continental integration and intra-African trade, as well as having a roadmap for reforms with stable institutional frameworks and more security.
"The intensification of trade in goods and services with African countries should benefit the Canary Islands by contributing to the management of migratory flows," Mato continued.
During the debate on the report in Parliament, Mr Mato said that the EU should promote trilateral public-private partnerships in the energy sector. "This type of agreement can be a magnificent instrument and lever for resolving differences and disputes that in some cases diplomacy and politics cannot achieve," he said.
Finally, in Mato's opinion, it is necessary "to observe what is happening around us, such as Russia's criminal invasion of Ukraine or China's positioning in the area, because it should reaffirm our conviction that we cannot forget our commitment to the African continent with a more ambitious partnership; for them and for us," he concluded.