Business guide provides insights into AfCFTA agreement

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has released a new business guide to help the private sector and policymakers better understand and navigate the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The guide was formally presented to the African Union commissioner for trade and industry, Albert Muchanga, during the World Export Development Forum in Lusaka, Zambia, earlier this week.

According to ITC chief executive Arancha González, the guide provides insights into the business implications of the AfCFTA and aim to equip private sector stakeholders and trade and investment support institutions to anticipate and influence policies relating to the agreement.

“The Business Guide to the AfCFTA will help ensure that the private sector – especially our SMMEs, women and youth entrepreneurs – take full advantage of the agreement,” Muchanga added. “It breaks down the complexities of the AfCFTA into ideas and concepts that business will understand.”

González noted that the guide would also allow stakeholders to play a key role in negotiating and implementing reforms resulting from the agreement and help SMMEs to utilise the AfCFTA to increase their regional competitiveness.

“Enhanced knowledge of expanding markets and free movement of people provides African business with a unique opportunity to be the first movers in adjusting their business practices and exploring regional opportunities,” she said. “The guide points out that the AfCFTA already has cooperation mechanisms in place, such as addressing non-tariff barriers and resolving disputes that African businesses can benefit from as they seek to deepen their regional integration.

“The guide will also enable policymakers involved in negotiating and implementing the AfCFTA to be more aware of the needs of the private sector and include them in provisions related to trade in goods and services.”

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