- African countries agree to launch continental free trade area
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African countries agree to launch continental free trade area

Last update: 13/03/2018
PRETORIA, March 13 (BERNAMA-NNN-SA NEWS) -- Agreement has been reached to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is envisaged to offer opportunities to create large economies of scale, says the South African Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his deputy, Bulelani Magwanishe, attended the African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade (AMOT) meeting held in Kigali, Rwanda, last week. The AfCFTA, which also offers an opportunity to create a bigger market and to improve the prospects of the continent´s ability to attract investment, was among the key issues discussed by Ministers at the meeting.

"The African Ministers of Trade considered and approved, for submitting to the Extraordinary Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government, the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA as well as the Protocols on Trade in Goods and Trade in Services that will form part of the Agreement," the dti said.

"The Ministers also approved a Work Programme for concluding the outstanding issues for implementation that will start after the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the AU Heads of State and Government that will take place on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. "

Negotiations of the AfCFTA were launched in Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 2015. At this year's annual AU summit in January 2018 in Ethiopia, it was agreed to hold an Extraordinary Summit on March 21 to consider the AfCFTA legal instruments and declaration launching the agreement to establishing the AfCTA.

"South Africa is, therefore, committed to a co-ordinated strategy to boost intra-Africa trade and to build an integrated market in Africa that will see a market of over one billion people with a GDP (gross domestic product) of approximately 2.6 trillion US dollars," the dti said.....


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