Rules of origin and the AfCFTA

Rules of origin: an opportunity to accelerate Africa’s industrialization and enhance regional value chains

The UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa Report 2019: Made in Africa – Rules of origin for enhanced intra-African trade (EDAR) analyzes the critical role that rules of origin play for making better use of preferential trade opportunities and for enhancing intra-African trade.

The EDAR 2019 argues for the adoption of simple, transparent, business-friendly and predictable rules of origin. If rules of origin are well designed, there is much to be gained in terms of regional value chains.

The report examines how, for instance, cocoa processing and trade within Africa could be stimulated, or how the apparel sector could be boosted by simpler rules of origin. It argues that the AfCFTA could boost the automotive sector in Africa, given its heavy reliance on economies of scale and its potential for creating strong regional supply networks.

The AfCFTA is a potential game changer for the continent’s development prospects.

This is Africa’s renewed opportunity to move away from excessive commodity dependence, and usher in a new economic and political era, focused on cooperation, deeper integration and higher levels of intra-African trade.

It can also promote economic diversification, and foster structural transformation through the development of a more competitive manufacturing sector.


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