Trade and Regional Integration Programme
New publications and events
|Most countries that are on a positive economic growth path use their trade policies strategically as a tool for development. Their enterprises benefit from being well integrated in regional and international value chains. As each country and region is specific, trade agreements need to be crafted carefully to ensure that they are conducive to inclusive growth and development objectives. ECPDM analyses what effects international and regional trade agreements have on national economies in practice and how they must be tailored to stimulate shared growth and job creation. Read more...|
Count down to concluding EPAs: what's really at stake?
For better or worse, EPAs are back on the agenda, and the clock started ticking with 1st October 2014 as a deadline. As the EU is negotiating number of new bilateral agreements with countries in Asia and America, Africa seems to have become little more than an annoying negotiating partner. San Bilal writes, in this outspoken blog, a handful of countries have upheld their side of the agreement since 2007. EPAs were deemed to build on and foster regional integration. This may work for some regions, but is likely to put serious strain on others. San argues that whether EPAs are ultimately concluded should not be the issue. The EPAs are not about technical matters, which could have been solved a long time ago. They are about politics, in Africa and in Europe and the type of relationship between the two. Read more...
Dilemma for West Africa’s agricultural and trade policies
Praise has been won by West Africa for elaborating a regional agricultural policy that could go a long way in promoting food security in the region. However, how this vision ties in with the region’s trade policy is anything but simple says Quentin de Roquefeuil in ECDPM’s Talking Points blog. A consensus seems to be emerging: whereas approaches that aim at closing off national markets to agricultural imports had clearly failed in the past, replicating such approaches at the regional level could be a viable option. Protecting a bigger, more competitive market (given that internal barriers to regional trade are removed), coordinated with supply side efforts, could overcome the failures of past attempts at self-sufficiency. Read more…
Corridors of power or plenty?
Raising agricultural productivity and engaging smallholders into formal markets has long been a goal of development policy. In parallel, there has been work to boost regional trade using development corridors as an approach to improve infrastructure, lower trade costs and promote economic development. The recent "agricultural corridors" approach provides a holistic response to both agricultural and trade challenges while engaging international businesses. A new paper by ECDPM analyses two such corridors, in Mozambique and Tanzania, to understand the degree to which they meet development objectives. Findings suggest that while on paper corridors can do much for farmers, so far they risk being “corridors of power” rather than “corridors of plenty”. Read more…
West Africa reducing barriers to intra-regional trade in agricultural goods
Regardless of far-reaching commitments to promote intra-regional trade in agricultural goods in West Africa, major obstacles remain. The recent ECOWAS and USAID conference “Food Across Borders” offered a platform for public-private dialogue to identify, discuss and agree on solutions, instead of dwelling on problems. ECDPM’s Jeske van Seters spoke at the event and reflects on the discussions in an article on the Talking Points blog. Van Seters highlights proposals to incentivise West African states to incorporate regional commitments in national policies through increased access to regional funds or a peer review mechanism. Read more…
|Trade policy and Economic Partnership Agreements|
ECDPM provides non-partisan analysis of trade policy and trade agreements between advanced and developing countries and regions. We facilitate negotiations and evaluate progress in the implementation of signed agreements, identify challenges and bottlenecks, as well as strategies to address them. ECDPM builds on its experience with brokering the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Europe and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.
ECDPM looks at the underlying dynamics and drivers of regional integration in Africa and the Caribbean, and learning lessons where appropriate from the EU and other regions. We identify where real traction for stronger integration exists and find what needs to be done to translate regional commitments into national policies.
More about the programme
|Aid for trade|
To enable developing countries to benefit from trade liberalization, they need effective support. ECDPM’s work focuses on operationalising regional aid-for-trade strategies and on improving support tools and instruments to address the private sector’s specific needs.
The latest publications and other resources on trade and regional integration
|Team & contact|
ECDPM’s trade and regional integration experts and their contact details
Permanent URL for this page: www.ecdpm.org/trade
Upcoming events and materials from past meetings
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