Ethiopia: trade and trade-related issues
The objective of this paper is to firstly set the background for a discussion and analysis of Ethiopia and its merchandise trading background before presenting a more detailed analysis of this trade and possible implications for Ethiopia of wider trade and economic integration. Specifically, for the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) Ethiopia is expected to negotiate with all the potential partners in the TFTA region. These are the Southern African Community (SACU), the East African Community (EAC) and Angola, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is a formidable agenda for a country that is also heavily involved in an accession negotiation for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union (EU). The paper will introduce some background principles to assist officials in understanding and engaging in this complex set of negotiations.
Basically, we find that, within the set of TFTA countries Ethiopia will negotiate with, the real focus must be on neighbours in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and on South Africa. By looking into trade data reconciliation we also find that there are many questions surrounding the quality of this trade data.
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