ECA and UMA Examine Potential Impact of AfCFTA On Maghreb Economies

4 November 2019

Rabat — The Economic Commission for Africa and the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) will hold, on 11-12 November in Rabat (Kingdom of Morocco) a regional seminar on the potential impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area on the Maghreb economies.

This event will take place with the participation of AU Commissioner for Trade and IndustryAlbert Muchanga, the Arab Maghreb Union Secretary General Taïeb Baccouche, officials and high-level representatives from the five UMA countries. Its aim is to promote economic integration at the regional and sub regional levels by helping strengthen the involvement of key North African players and by encouraging Maghreb economies to step up their contribution to the building of the African single market.

This event will also be an opportunity for the representatives of UMA countries (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia), AfCFTA chief negotiators, financial and private sectors representatives, experts and observers to share their analysis of the AfCFTA, their understanding of the challenges and opportunities it presents and its implications for economic development and growth. Participants will conduct an in-depth review of their sub-regional and regional integration policies with a view to facilitating the formulation of new, more integrated and better coordinated strategies.

The AfCFTA, which came into force on May 30, 2019, aims to reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade, promote open markets and trade facilitation, and harmonize trade rules across the African region. In terms of the number of participating countries, the AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), covering a potential market of 1.2 billion consumers for a cumulative gross domestic product (GDP) of over $ 2.5 trillion.

The implementation of the AfCFTA is expected to strengthen intra-African trade with an increase of more than 60% in external trade (more than 42 billion dollars in volume) which would mainly benefit high value, processed goods. In the case of North Africa, AfCFTA implementation coupled with the introduction of trade facilitation measures could lead to a 70% increase in sub regional industrial trade according to ECA estimates.

Event: Seminar on the potential impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area on the Maghreb economies

Date : 11-12 November 2019

Place : Hôtel Farah, Rabat

Communication Team

Economic Commission for Africa

Office for North Africa

Tel: +212 (0) 537 548 749

Email: filali-ansary@un.org; cea.an.coms@gmail.com

Twitter : @CEA_ANcoms

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