The perimeter of the AfCFTA is important. The agreement will reduce tariffs between Member States and cover policy areas such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as hygiene standards and technical barriers to trade. Full implementation of AfCFTA would transform markets and economies across the region and boost production in the services, manufacturing and raw materials sectors. Regional trade agreements are multiplying and changing their nature. In 1990, 50 trade agreements were in force. In 2017, there were more than 280. In many trade agreements, negotiations today go beyond tariffs and cover several policy areas relating to trade and investment in goods and services, including rules that go beyond borders, such as competition policy, public procurement rules and intellectual property rights. ATRs, which cover tariffs and other border measures, are “flat” agreements; THE RTAs, which cover more policy areas at the border and at the back of the border, are “deep” agreements. Roberto Echandi is the senior private sector specialist at ETIRI. It focuses on research and policy advice on issues related to cross-border trade in services, negotiations, implementation and maximizing the potential benefits of deep integration trade agreements and the AfCFTA negotiation and implementation process. For more information, visit our online portal Deep Trade Agreement, which provides new data and analysis on the evolution of the content of preferential trade agreements. Discover data visualizations and dashboards, download recordings and stay up-to-date on the latest searches.
This database provides detailed information on the content of a subsample of 18 policy areas that are most often addressed in a series of 283 agreements currently notified to the WTO between 1958 and 2017. For each agreement, the database includes the above-mentioned substantive objectives and obligations, as well as aspects of transparency, procedures and implementation. This database represents the most important efforts in terms of policy coverage and information granularity in each area. This database is the result of collaboration with experts from different fields of action from the scientific community and other international organizations such as the OECD, UNCTAD and the WTO. Israel Osorio Rodarte is an economist in the Department of Trade and Regional Integration at the World Bank. He has more than 10 years of experience in international development, including economic diversification, structural change and analysis of the distribution of trade and macroeconomic policies. Maria Filipa Seara e Pereira advises the World Bank in the Trade Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). It focuses on international trade and international development issues, including modelling, trade policy, trade distribution effects and global value chains.