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Mega-Trading Blocs and the Future of African Trade

Event location:
Nairobi, Kenya

The advent of mega-trading blocs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in Asia are likely to have profound implications for the global trading system.

Not only will these mega-trading blocs impact on the multilateral trading system, but they are likely to have significant implications for Sub-Saharan African countries by diverting trade and investment and setting new global standards for production and traded goods and services that many developing countries will find difficult to comply with. 

This will be the first major conference on mega-trading blocs in Africa and bring together policymakers and standards-setting bodies to share policy perspectives and insights about mega-trading blocs.

The conference will particularly focus on the implications of the TPP and TTIP’s standards agenda for African Least Developed Countries (LDCs) exporters, and possible policy responses by these African countries.

The event will therefore build a greater understanding of likely developments that may adversely impact market access for African exports. The conference will also have an important capacity building dimension, in addition to the knowledge-sharing component.

It also aims to link African standards-setting bodies to each other, in order to create networks of learning with the TPP and TTIP as the central reference points.

The Commonwealth Secretariat will use this conference to present the first draft of the policymakers’ manual on mega-trading blocs for technical review and comment by the participants.