The World Trade Organisation, WTO, revealed that Increasing regional trade integration could promote both overall economic performance and integration into the global market beyond commodities trade by 29 % in 2035.
The WTO disclosed this in its World Trade Report 2023, viewed by NewsTimes on Tuesday, titled “Re-globalization for a secure, inclusive and sustainable future”
Director-General, Nigeria’s Dr Okonjo-Iweala noted that Re-globalization offers a better path forward. Bringing more countries and communities from the margins of the global economy to the mainstream would make for deeper, more diversified markets that are more resilient to shocks
The report revealed that for Africa, increasing regional trade integration could promote both overall economic performance and integration into the global market beyond commodities trade.
- “ For example, the full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could lead to an additional 29% increase in total exports by 2035. Intra-African exports could surge by 81%, while exports to the rest of the world would also rise by 19%.
- “The manufacturing sector would particularly benefit from a reduction in tariff and non-tariff barriers, with a projected 62% increase in exports.
- “As trade in manufactured goods allows for greater diversification than commodities trade, this would help African economies to further integrate into GVCs. Export diversification could also be greater in similarly endowed economies engaging in trade.”
Africa and Globalisation
Stephen Karingi, Director, of Regional Integration and Trade, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Melaku Desta, Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre added that Africa has engaged with the multilateral trading system, but the continent has struggled to see the full benefits of globalization.
They added globalization has never been the problem citing that the problem has been with the terms, ideological foundations and operational tools on which the edifice of globalization is built, saying Africa must place certain considerations, which are:
- “We need to agree that the turn towards regional or bloc-based trade is second-best to globalization. But if all we mean by re-globalization is an expansion of the multilateral trading system towards new topics and new actors, then we are missing the point.
- “Africa’s support for the agenda of re-globalization for a resilient, inclusive and sustainable future is founded on principles.
- “At a time when rules-based multilateralism is under attack, Africa has been busy building a continental single market based on principles of fairness, non-discrimination, transparency and accountability.
- “That is what the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is all about. Modelling estimates by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) show that in 2045, Africa’s agri-food, services and industry sectors will be 50.2 per cent, 37.6 % and 36.1% higher, respectively, compared to a situation without the AfCFTA. The AfCFTA will position Africa as a powerful voice for rules-based multilateralism on the global stage.”
They also called for a revamped multilateral trading system underpinning re-globalization efforts needs to place development and sustainability at its core which Africa can pursue its development objectives in tandem with its environmental objectives thanks to its unique endowment in minerals critical to the green transition, such as its vast reserves of cobalt, lithium, nickel, and other commodities.
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the WTO DG noted that Re-globalization offers a better path forward. Bringing more countries and communities from the margins of the global economy to the mainstream would make for deeper, more diversified markets that are more resilient to shocks.
She also added that Re-globalization must also address longstanding issues on the WTO agenda, particularly agriculture, which accounts for a large share of employment in many members.