Trade in services and the AfCFTA: No service is an island

Trade in services and the AfCFTA: No service is an island

Ashly Hope - 15 Mar 2018

Ashly Hope, tralac Research Coordinator (trade in services and regulation), discusses services trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area

The contribution of the services economy continues to increase globally and in Africa. The value of trade in services also continues to increase, but African countries remain responsible for only about 2% of global services trade exports. This means there is enormous opportunity to expand and improve the competitiveness of trade in services on the continent.

Covering both goods and services under Phase 1, the AfCFTA will have an important impact on this trade. To make the most of the opportunity presented by the AfCFTA, member states should ensure that an integrated approach to services trade is taken – both internally in member states, and intra-regionally.

Besides their contribution as tradeables, services also contribute to all other trade – in both goods and services – whether it is through transport and logistics, design, finance and insurance or education and healthcare. The AfCFTA and member state policies need to recognise and build on these interlinkages.

Despite some

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