Our work in Trade and Regional Integration

International trade is a key driver of economic growth and poverty reduction. It can expand markets for growing firms, reduce the cost of inputs for domestic businesses, foster increased consumer choice at lower prices, support the transfer of international expertise and technology, and spur foreign and domestic investment.

To maximise the potential benefits of international trade, countries need to build and sustain a strong trade-enabling environment at national, regional and multilateral levels. Among other things, this includes establishing a sound and supportive policy and regulatory framework, efficient transport and logistics services, reliable transport infrastructure, and increasingly facilitative trade procedures.

The potential benefits of international trade can be further accelerated by regional economic integration. The expansion of member countries domestic markets (through regional integration initiatives such as a regional free trade agreement, a customs union, the establishment of a common market, etc.) can generate significant intra-regional trade gains and increases in competiveness, both within the region and between the region and the rest of the world. This increased competitiveness can help to drive down prices and increase choice for businesses and consumers. Regional integration can also spur increased foreign direct investment between member states from outside the regional economic community, investment attracted by the increased scale of the expanded market.

 

2014. The Law & Development Partnership

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