Gambia Trade Agreements

Today, it`s official: Africa`s free trade agreement has gathered enough signatures to enter into force. Meanwhile, Côte d`Ivoire and Ghana have already opted for progressive agreements that will be replaced in the future by the regional EPA with West Africa. On 26 October 2018, a joint ministerial committee on trade between the EU and the ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) will be held in Brussels to discuss the progress of the seven EU-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreements. The aim of this bespoke agreement is to promote trade between the EU and African states and to contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction. After the signing by the 16 partners, including Nigeria and Mauritania, the agreement will be submitted for ratification. The EU is the most open market in the world for African exports. More information on West Africa and economic partnership agreements is available in the fact sheet for more information on EU trade with Africa and on these pages. It describes the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements to which that country belongs, including with the United States. Contains websites and other resources where U.S. companies can get more information on how to take advantage of the benefits of this agreement. But not everything is rosy with the historic free trade agreement.

Africa`s largest economy, Nigeria, along with Benin and Eritrea, has yet to sign the agreement, probably under pressure from trade unions and trade unions. Only 15 of the 22 nations that ratified the agreement also filed their ratification documents at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa. “Posterity will remember this day,” African Development Bank alum Donald Kaberuka wrote on Twitter. His sentiment was shared by former UNECA Executive Secretary Carlos Lopes, who wrote: “Africa has succeeded.” Lopes noted that it took the continent a year to reach the trade agreement, “an absolute record for this type of agreement.” Once in force, afCFTA will cover a market of 1.2 billion people and a total gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, making it the largest free trade area in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organization 70 years ago. African leaders hope the agreement will eliminate current high tariffs, create employment opportunities for young, fast-growing workers and harmonize the work of existing regional economic communities. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), intra-African trade could also be improved by 52.3% per year. On Tuesday, 2 April, the Gambian Parliament was the 22nd country to ratify the agreement, the minimum threshold expected to approve the agreement between the 55 member states of the African Union. This measure represents a major step forward for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which was established in Rwanda last March.

The trade agreement is expected to enter into force within one month of filing the number of submissions required with the AU President`s Office. The Gambia is a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1996.