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Interview Beatrice Chaytor« Private sector needs to organise itself better to take advantage of the opportunities under the AfCFTA »

The African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECA / AfCFTA) must offer numerous opportunities to the private sector. As long as you prepare it. This is in particular the mission of Beatrice Chaytor, lead expert on trade in services in the AfcFTA support unit at the Department of Trade and Industry of the African Union.

 

What is your mission within the African Union ?

 

I work in the Department of Trade and Industry, African Union Commission in Ethiopia. I am a Senior Expert on Trade in Services and working on the AfCFTA negotiations

 

I am awareness about the services negotiations and their importance for creating the single African market in services.

 

The zleca is a major step for the regional integration. What the opportunities for the African private sector ?

 

The opportunities for the African private sector are endless. This is a market of 1.2 billion people. The reduction of tariffs, the removal of non tariff barriers, the simplification of customs procedures, the removal of services trade restrictions will all happen under the AfCFTA. Regional value chains will be developed, making various industries very competitive. The expansion of trade activities across the continent will help the private sector to access new markets.

 

How could we help the private sector ?

 

Private sector needs to organise itself better to take advantage of the opportunities under the AfCFTA. The African private sector should seek partnerships with others to bring investment and increase productive capacity in order to improve their collective competitiveness. They should advocate for more research and development from governments, they should partner with academics to carry out more research into trade topics that are relevant to the AfCFTA. They should seek to have a strong voice in policy formulation at the national level. The African private sector particularly SMEs should be assisted to better organize themselves.

 

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