Addis Ababa, 8 July 2021, ECA – Egypt today launched a Product Transformation Policy Review (PTPR) which aims to help position the country to fully benefit from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The PTPR is the product of a 21-month policy support process requested by the Egyptian government and implemented by the Development Centre of the OECD in collaboration with the ECA, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Malaysia and Italy made contributions to the report, and the German international cooperation agency (GIZ), supported the production. Afreximbank also contributed to the process.
With the theme: “Embracing Change, Achieving Prosperity,” the PTPR is to understand how to capture the benefits of the AfCFTA for transforming the economy of the country, the Director of the Regional Integration and Trade Division in the ECA Stephen Karingi, said at the launch, the first for an African country.
He also said ECA is to partner with the OECD and Afreximbank for a complementary PTPR spotlight on the AfCFTA to enable Egypt derive the desired benefit from the trading pact.
According to him, the Egyptian economy which suffered heavily as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could be bolstered if the North African country effectively implemented the AfCFTA by leveraging on the benefits of diversified intra-African trade and investment opportunities which the trading bloc will provide.
“The real test will be securing these gains through quick and effective implementation of the Agreement, along with supporting policies needed to address other barriers to trade, investment and product transformation,” he said.
Under the AfCFTA, Egypt could add at least 32 new trading partners, thereby helping to diversify and upgrade the economy, according to the review released today, adding that “to fully benefit from the AfCFTA, Egypt needs to update its policy approach for economic transformation.”
Egypt is one of Africa’s economic giants and the continent’s top manufacturing hub, accounting for 22 percent of its value added in this sector, according to the PTPR.
The AfCFTA, the world’s largest free trade area, aims to form a single continent-wide market for goods and services, stimulating more trade and investment. The agreement is expected to expand intra-African trade, boost industrialization, increase job opportunities, and enhance the global competitiveness of African industries.
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