We are your go-to professionals for International and Regional Trade Law
With a crop of young and enthusiastic lawyers, some of whom have had formal training and direct exposure to international trade issues as well as those trained in disciplines relevant to investment and commercial issues of a multi-country and cross-border nature, we are committed to assisting with the growth and expansion of trade in general and particularly, in Africa.
World Trade Organisation
Established on 1 January 1995 following the Uruguay Round negotiations
With 164 members, the WTO represented 98% of world trade in 2018
- The WTO’s functions include: administering WTO trade agreements, acting as a forum for trade negotiations, handling trade disputes, monitoring trade policies, providing technical assistance and training for developing economies and ensuring cooperation with other international organizations
- The announcement of a new Director-General is impending as the heated race between South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee and Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala draws to a close
Regional Economic Communities of Africa
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
East African Community (EAC)
Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
Arab Maghreb Union (AMU)
Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)
Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Economic Community of West African States
- Established on May 28 1975 via the treaty of Lagos, ECOWAS is made up of 15 members, who are also members of CEN-SAD
- In 2016, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) amounted to US$716.7 Billion.
- ECOWAS seeks to drive economic transformation by deepening integration through the
ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS).
- The percentage of intra-ECOWAS exports in
total ECOWAS exports was 11.9% in
2017, lower than the proportion of intra-Africa exports
in total African exports at 16%
- Nigeria contributes the lion share of ECOWAS trade in goods, which as of 2015, was valued at US$87.9 billion (0.53 per cent of the world total).
African Continental Free Trade Area
- The Agreement establishing the AfCFTA entered into force on 30 May 2019, with the potential to increase intra-Africa trade by 81%, by the year 2035
- First commercial deal to take place 1 January 2021
- Instruments of ratification have been deposited by 29 countries while 5 countries, including Nigeria, have approved ratification
- Eritrea is yet to sign the Agreement
- The operational phase of the AfCFTA was launched on 7 July 2019
- The AfCFTA will be governed by five operational instruments, i.e. the Rules of Origin; the online negotiating forum; the monitoring and elimination of non-tariff barriers; a digital payments system and the African Trade Observatory.
- Global exports of transport services generated $1.011 trillion in 2019
- Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports 2018 – 25.4%
- Africa’s share of global transport exports is 3.0% and imports is at 5.1%
- About half of global trade in transport services is driven by trade in goods
- Travel/Tourism is the most exported service, generating US$1.407 trillion in 2019
- Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports 2018 – 42.4%
- Africa’s share of global travel exports is 3.5% and imports is at 2.5%
- Tourism accounts for more than 66% of global trade in services through Mode 2
- Global exports of financial services including insurance & pension services generated $640.2 billion in 2019
- Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports 2018 – 17.3%
- Africa’s share of global financial services exports is 0.6%
- In 2017, 77% of global trade in financial services took place through Mode 3
Information & Communication Technology Services
- Global exports of telecommunications, computer and information services generated $655.9 billion in 2019
- Sectoral contribution to total percentage of Africa’s service exports in 2018 – 5.2%
- Africa’s share of global telecommunications, computer and information services exports is 0.9%
- Trade in IT services records an annual expansion rate of 11%
- Global exports of business services generated $1.351 trillion in 2019
- In 2017, share of business services in world trade in services was 9.2%
- Professional services – 3.4%
- Research and development – 1.4%
- Rental and leasing – 0.5%
- Other business services – 3.9%
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