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SCOPUS 학술저널

Emerging Global Trade Blocs and the Future of African Participation in the World Economy

Emerging Global Trade Blocs and the Future of African Participation in the World Economy

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The mid-1980s were characterized by a resurgence of regional economic integration around the world. It now appears that the global economy is likely to be dominated by three major trade blocs: the European Union (EU), the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA), and an impending East Asia trade bloc, likely to be anchored around Japan. The ability of developing countries, especially those in Africa, to have access to these regional markets will determine the extent of economic and human development in these countries in the years to come. Effective participation in global trade is very important for development in the continent. At present, African countries have limited access to the markets of the EU through a set of preferences that have their origins in the colonial relationship between Africa and Europe. The preferences, however, do not provide the African economies any significant trade benefits. A multilateral trading system will improve African access to the markets of the industrialized countries and significantly improve the continent`s participation in international trade. At the present time, however, African countries are not able to produce goods that are competitive globally in both price and quality. Regional economic integration should help the African countries develop the capacity and ability to become competitive internatinally, and thus benefit from global trade. Integration will provide the African countries the larger and more viable markets that they need to more effectively exploit technological economies of scale, and as a result, improve their ability to produce globally-competitive goods.

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