Rules of origin most important challenge for AfCFTA – Unctad

Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, secretary-general of Unctad.

The secretary-general for the UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, has identified “rules of origin” as the biggest challenge facing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Unctad’s “Economic Development in Africa Report 2019” looked at several key issues that will require urgent attention to realise the creation of the world’s biggest common market representing 1.3 billion people with combined output potential of $2.2 trillion and continental intra-trade growth scope of 33%.

Kituyi said: “Realising the full potential gains from the AfCFTA will require a broad range of complementary policies to address multiple challenges, designed to enhance an emerging trade-industrialisation nexus on the continent.”

These enhancements will be manifested through trade facilitation, infrastructural improvements, capacity expansion and entrepreneurship policies.

But Kituyi emphasised that it was the rules of origin – establishing the nationality of products produced in Africa – that would determine whether preferential trade liberalisation could be a game changer for Africa’s industrialisation.”



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