Tripartite Free Trade Agreement
The tripartite free trade agreement brings together 28 member countries of COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The launch of the TFTA has not been as high-profile as the ongoing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Taking into account tfTA members` total exports of $145 billion (or 1 per cent of world exports) and merchandise imports of $211 billion (or 1.5% of world imports) in 2014, the new open free trade area is not considered likely to have a significant impact on the nature of the global trading system. , at least in the short term, as both partnerships expect. In early August 2015, Kenyan President H. E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta met with his Ugandan counterpart H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to discuss a number of issues, including improving trade relations between the two countries. Uganda deplored the delay in issuing Ugandan sugar import permits to Kenya by the Kenya Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Authority (AA). Despite the challenges, we remain optimistic that the ABC will not only continue to integrate, which will eventually generate benefits through trade facilitation, but that the TFTA may lead other IPCs in Africa to produce such mega-UC. This could be explained by developments in other parts of the world, such as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union (EU) and the United States and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
Finally, the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2015. This is the first time the conference has been held in Africa. The combination of all these factors leads to deeper and faster regional integration in Africa and the potential for trade facilitation profits. In recent decades, the three regional economic communities, which are now joining forces to form the TFTA, have taken several initiatives to promote intra-regional trade. While it is difficult to determine the real impact of these trade uprisings on regional trade flows, available data show that merchandise exports among the members of this new free trade agreement increased steadily between 1994 and 2014, from $2.3 billion to $36 billion – more than a 12-fold increase in 20 years.