Korea-Africa forum for economic cooperation 2019

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We invite you to a conference on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and how African countries and external investors can leverage this agreement for mutual benefit.

The African continent is poised for economic growth and development: an increasingly peaceful continent, combined with a rapidly growing and youthful population, and increasing productive capacities offers exciting growth opportunities for African economies. African countries are looking to harness these positive factors into growth opportunities through the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The AfCFTA will drive growth by facilitating the free flow of goods, services, capital and people between African countries. The AfCFTA Agreement, which entered into force on 30 May 2019, will create a market worth between $2.2 trillion and $3.4 trillion in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and connect Africa’s 1.2 billion citizens. To achieve this potential, crucial phase one negotiations around tariff schedules, rules of origin and commitments on services are yet to be finalised. Phase two negotiations on competition policy, intellectual property and investment are ongoing and scheduled for completion in June 2020.

Nevertheless, the potential that the AfCFTA holds enthuses both African countries and external investors. Development assistance has long dominated the relationship between African countries and external partners. Yet, the commercial appeal of the continent is shifting the conversation away from ‘aid’ towards ‘trade and investment’.

This conference, jointly hosted by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ROK MOFA) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), will follow the 12th Extraordinary Summit on the AfCFTA in Niger (7 July 2019) where crucial details to the operationalisation of the AfCFTA will be discussed. The conference will provide a situational analysis of ongoing AfCFTA negotiations and processes; and offer insights on how African countries and external investors can leverage this agreement to promote trade and investment for mutual benefit. The conference will bring together high-level government delegates, business leaders, researchers and policymakers from the Republic of Korea and South Africa to deliberate on the potential of such a symbiotic relationship.

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