Building capacity to help Africa trade better

State of Intra-REC Trade and Trade Liberalisation

Trade Reports

State of Intra-REC Trade and Trade Liberalisation

State of Intra-REC Trade and Trade Liberalisation

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Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are major building blocks in the realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) according to the Governing Principles of the AfCFTA. It is stated that the AfCFTA shall also be governed by the ‘preservation of the acquis and best practices in the RECs, in the State Parties and International Conventions binding the African Union’. This is important when looking at tariff concessions.

This Trade Report provides an update on the state of intra-REC trade amongst the eight RECs recognised by the African Union and the level of tariff protection that still exists between RECs. This update follows a previous analysis undertaken by tralac five years ago. In the previous analysis, trade was concentrated within RECs (intra-REC) even in RECs where there were no free trade agreements (FTAs). This is mainly attributed to fact that where no FTA exists, proximity and other factors have led to market integration and the development – to a greater or lesser extent – of an integrated commercial space. As the AfCFTA is being implemented, this becomes crucial and underlines why the non-tariff agenda is so important (lowering costs of doing business between those that are negotiating tariff concessions). The current analysis will shed light on the extent to which deeper intra-REC trade in goods has progressed.

Readers are encouraged to quote and reproduce this material for educational, non-profit purposes, provided the source is acknowledged. All views and opinions expressed remain solely those of the authors and do not purport to reflect the views of tralac.


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