The Preferential Liberalization of Trade in Services: African Perspectives And Challenges
NCCR-Trade Working Paper No 2012/01 by Pierre Sauvé and Natasha Ward
This chapter takes stock of the state of play of preferential trade negotiations in services in Africa. It explores the factors that lie behind the reluctance of African governments to bind service sector policy under international treaties. The chapter chronicles several ongoing initiatives aimed at deepening intra-regional trade and investment among the eight regional economic cooperation areas found on the continent. It also describes external liberalization efforts engaging Africa with the rest of the world in services trade, devoting particular attention to negotiations underway with the European Community (EC) with a view to concluding WTO-compatible Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The chapter draws attention to several novel features of the EC-CARIFORUM EPA in the services field and discusses its possible implications for Africa’s ongoing processes of integration in services markets at both the intra- and extra-regional levels. The chapter concludes with a broader discussion of a range of policy challenges confronting African governments in designing development-enhancing strategies of engagement in services trade negotiations.