As a key element in the achievement of sustainable long-run growth, investment is given top priority in the development of the WAEMUď s economic policy. On average, rates of investment in the WAEMU are comparatively low.12 A major objective of the regional investment code in preparation, which is intended to replace all existing codes in member countries, is to promote investment through simpler and more transparent rules. It also seeks to correct discriminatory practices that are based on the type of economic activity, the nationality of the beneficiaries, and the size of the relevant enterprises. Another objective is to avoid the distortions associated with exemptions from customs duties and other indirect taxes. In the view of the IMF staff, however, the project as it now stands does not go far enough in the direction of eliminating exemptions, notably those on customs duties on equipment and investment goods as well as those on the value-added tax on imports and local goods and services.