12:00 GMT26 January 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German Development Minister Gerd Mueller on Wednesday urged the European Union to open its market for African goods with a view to facilitating economic growth on the continent and thereby stemming migrant inflow.

    "The European market is effectively blocked. At the same time, European exports to Africa are growing. Therefore, my main message to Brussels is – Open the markets to all African goods … This is the only way the continent can turn into the region of growth … I am sure that the African youth … would not flee [the continent] and would remain in their home countries if there were jobs and prospects for the future," Mueller said in an interview with Die Welt.

    He suggested that the bloc should scrap tariffs and import quotas for Africa’s agricultural goods to support local producers and promote economic growth.

    READ MORE: 'Fighting Traffickers': EU Commission Launches New Migration Programs in Africa

    The minister called for more active investment in Africa, noting that Europe was lagging behind other powers in the regions, such as China, Russia, and Turkey. He also spoke in favor of agreements between the European Union and African countries, under which the latter would take their undocumented migrants back, while the bloc would provide more legal ways for Africans to work in Europe.

    European countries have been experiencing a severe migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing crises and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa. In recent months, the EU leaders have repeatedly expressed their willingness to pay more attention to cooperation with the countries of migrants’ transit and origin.


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    market, migration, Gerd Mueller, Africa, Germany, EU
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