Realising the One African Services Market through the AfCFTA
Start of trade under the preferential terms of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was announced on 1 January 2021, whilst negotiations to finalise outstanding issues on Phase 1 topics of good and services are to be concluded in June 2021. The creation of the One African Market for goods is a long-term endeavour; there is a 5-year timeline for non-least developed countries and 10 years for least developed countries to eliminate 90 per cent of tariff lines. For services, progressive liberalisation is envisaged through successive rounds of negotiation’, with substantial liberalisation as the stated threshold. These simple differences in the format and expression of ambition – one numerical and one qualitative, express a fundamental disparity in approach towards the realisation and assessment of liberalisation of trade of goods and services under the AfCFTA.
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