African Continental Free Trade Agreement Objectives

Author: admin  //  Category: Uncategorized

Great article. Just a few thoughts. I think another challenge for implementation is that some countries do not even have an updated trade policy. It`s going to take a while for this to happen. With regard to industrialization, I also think it is important to take into account the changing climate of world trade. The future of world trade is slowly shifting from the purchase of less-produced goods (trade in goods) to the consumption of services (trade in services). Thanks to AfCFTA, trade in services and goods must be liberalised. But discussions about services are only at the beginning, so the form of the outcome and the possible effects are not yet predictable. African states and regional organizations have even less experience in negotiations on services than with those on opening up trade in goods, and therefore the challenges are significant. Although the negotiations are based on the WTO`s General Multilateral Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), Africa`s regional economic communities (CIC) have so far taken different approaches and have gained different experiences in liberalizing services. The current impact of AfCFTA in the area of services is simple: a common approach has been adopted. As experience at the regional level shows, discussions are focused on their time. For example, within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the debate on opening the internal market to six service sectors continued for six years.

The various protocols are negotiated in two phases (see figure below). Phase 1 focused on three protocols: the movement of goods and its 9 annexes, trade in services with its three annexes and dispute resolution. Phase 2 negotiations will focus on competition protocols, intellectual property rights and investments. In countries where the political momentum is conducive to increased trade integration, governments have the opportunity to use AfCFTA to “block” trade-related reforms, including in terms of services, competition and investment, to improve the competitiveness of local businesses and industries and boost industrialization. Businesses and citizens can also use AfCFTA to meet their business integration commitments. For Africa, it is important that tariffs for third countries outside Africa are not lower than those of Africa. The aim is to avoid a situation in which an agreement – with Mercosur, for example – could create trade preferences that penalise intra-African trade. Therefore, Article 4 of the afCFTA protocol on trade in goods stipulates that all preferences granted to third countries under free trade agreements must also be granted to African partners under afCFTA, in accordance with the principle of reciprocity. The same goes for services. For example, if SACU reduces a tariff for India, it must also offer it to its AfCFTA partners (for example. B in the future potentially Cete d`Ivoire), provided that African partners are prepared to reduce their own corresponding tariffs.

To achieve concrete results, it will also be necessary to enable the private sector to take advantage of the new market opportunities that result from them.

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