Roberto Echandi is a lead private sector specialist at ETIRI. It focuses on research and policy advice on issues related to cross-border trade in services, negotiation, implementation and maximisation of the potential benefits of deep integration trade agreements and the AfCFTA negotiation and implementation process. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will create the world`s largest free trade area in terms of the number of participating countries. The pact associates 1.3 billion people in 55 countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) worth $3.4 trillion. It has the potential to lift 30 million people out of extreme poverty, but harnessing its full potential will depend on the implementation of important policy reforms and trade facilitation measures. The size of the AfCFTA is important. The agreement will reduce tariffs between member states and cover policies such as trade facilitation and services, as well as regulatory measures such as hygiene standards and technical barriers to trade. Full implementation of the AfCFTA would reshape markets and economies across the region and increase production in the services, manufacturing and natural resources sectors. Israel Osorio Rodarte is an economist in the Trade and Regional Integration Department at the World Bank. He has more than 10 years of experience in international development, particularly in the areas of economic diversification, structural change and analysis of the distribution of trade and macroeconomic policies.
Maria Filipa Seara e Pereira advises the Trade Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI) of the World Bank. She works mainly on topics related to international trade and international development, including modelling, trade policy, the distribution effects of trade and global value chains. Paul Brenton is a Chief Economist of the World Bank`s Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). It focuses on analytical and operational work on trade and regional integration. Maryla Maliszewska – lead author, is the Senior Economist in the Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI) at the World Bank. His area of expertise covers several aspects of trade policy and regional integration, with a particular focus on the impact of trade on poverty and income distribution. Guillermo Arenas is an economist at the World Bank`s Trade and Regional Integration Unit (ETIRI). It covers several aspects of international economics and public policy, including trade policy, export competitiveness and impact assessment.
Yulia Vnukova advises in the Trade and Regional Integration Division (ETIRI) of the World Bank. Based on more than ten years of experience, Yulia`s current work focuses on trade policy and regional integration, with a focus on macroeconomic and microeconomic analysis of trade, trade and sectoral competitiveness, global value chains and private sector development in emerging countries in Europe, in Asia and Africa. The World Bank`s report, The African Continental Free Trade Area: Economic and Distributional Effects, aims to help policymakers implement measures that can maximize the potential benefits of the agreement while minimizing risks. Creating a continent-wide market requires firm efforts to reduce all trade costs. Governments also need to develop strategies to increase the willingness of their workforce to seize new opportunities. Michele Ruta, lead author, is Chief Economist of the Trade and Regional Integration Department (ETIRI) at the World Bank. His research interests lie in international economics, particularly on issues of international/regional integration. Dominique van der Mensbrugghe is a research professor and director of the Center for Global Trade Analysis (GTAP) at Purdue University. His work over the course of his career has focused on the long-term structural changes in the global economy and the analysis of global economic policy issues. . .