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The AfCFTA Negotiations – a quick view

We reported in the previous Newsletter that the process of drafting a Protocol on Digital Trade (previously known as the Ecommerce Protocol) started in August. The deadline for drafting has been extended to next year, however much needs to be done. Meanwhile, negotiations on trade in goods are progressing. Some countries have fallen behind their regional economic communities (RECs), to make their offers on tariff reductions. A key aspect of trade in goods has been the rules on the country of origin, which is now almost completed. Only the most sensitive issues remain (textiles, automotive, and sugar). As far as trade in services is concerned, apart from the protocol on digital trade, priority services are financial services, tourism, communications, and business services. And the drafting of protocols on investment, intellectual property (IP), and competition policy have started. The Ministers have also asked for special work to be done to promote Women and Youth in Trade and Digital Trade.


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