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Africa free-trade bloc implementation date may be too optimistic

Published on December 15, 2015

A 2017 implementation date set for creating a free-trade zone in Africa, a region with a combined economy worth more than $2 trillion, may be too optimistic, according to trade experts.

Talks to establish a working free-trade zone will go beyond 2017, Trudi Hartzenberg, director of the Stellenbosch-based Tralac Trade Law Centre, said in an interview in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi on Tuesday. “The indicative date is really a political decision, but realistically the negotiations will take much longer,” said Hartzenberg, who is in Nairobi for the World Trade Organization’s 10th ministerial conference. “What may be possible is some kind of framework agreement by 2017, and then the more detailed provisions on specific substantive issues will take much longer.” Read more. Source | Bloomberg