Africa free trade area to boost Africa's industrialization efforts

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-24 23:42:08|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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NAIROBI, June 24 (Xinhua) -- The African continental free trade area (AfCFTA) is likely to boost Africa's industrialization efforts, the UN said on Monday.

Jean-Sébastien Roure, senior officer for trade facilitation and policy for business section at the International Trade Center (ITC) told a regional conference in Nairobi that a major part of the rationale for the pan-African free trade relates to the fact that intra-regional trade offers particular potential to facilitate increased economies of scale as well as diversification and value addition.

Studies also show that establishing the AfCFTA will have obvious positive effects in terms of job and income generation as well as technological upgrading, skills development and local firms' competitiveness, Roure said during the East African Business Council (EABC) regional consultative workshop on the AfCFTA.

The ITC official observed that notwithstanding the high importance of removing tariffs, it is widely accepted that the potential real gains of the AfCFTA would come from the elimination of non-tariff barriers.

Nick Nesbitt, chairman EABC urged east African partner states to address competitiveness impediments for the trading bloc's private sector to harness the benefits brought about the AfCFTA.

Nesbitt said that some of the key challenges of the business environment include high cost of transport and logistics, energy and cost of borrowing.