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Monday, 14 June 2010

EPAs on banking to boost trade within Africa

Economic pacts with Europe that centre on more efficient and competitive banking and insurance services will offer opportunities to grow intra-Africa trade, a new study by a UN agency said.
“The institutional landscape on which intra-Africa trade takes place will change dramatically depending on the model of liberalisation that the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) adopt,” the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said in a report presented at the ongoing annual conference of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Abijan, Cote d’Ivoire. Like many other countries under the umbrella of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), Kenya and other member states of the East African Community (EAC) are negotiating new EPAs with the European Union (EU).“The services economy being the new frontier for the expansion of trade, intra-African trade would be positively affected if EPAs could lead to more efficient and competitive banking and insurance sectors on the continent,” the agency said in its report, Assessing Regional Integration in Africa IV.