In order to decide whether to include IF in the AfCFTA and how, African policymakers should be aware of all these different approaches and dynamics around Investment Facilitation to be able to set their own priorities in this relatively “new” area in international investment law, crafting an innovative and holistic approach for their future investment protocol. To date, international and regional approaches in IF are still in the making – making it easier for policymakers to identify what works best for Africa. In the process, policymakers can also leverage their own cutting-edge reform efforts on investment protection and regulation, and set a regional standard as a rule-maker – which could, in turn, influence ongoing or other future global processes on this topic.
Free Trade Agreement
It is important that the Global South countries and particularly African countries device approaches that aim at entrenching integration in their own regions. This is absolutely crucial now that African States have the ambition of increasing intra- African trade. Secondly, African governments need to approach FTA and EPAs with the countries in Global North with extra caution and with their development needs, economic situations, and integration ambitions in mind.
Should the Kenya-United States Free Trade Agreement be concluded, it would violate Article 37 of the Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Customs Union. Article 37 requires a Partner State to notify the EAC of a new trade agreement even when there is merely a proposed trade agreement. Article 37 of the Protocol requires that Partner States notify the other Partner States before offering a third-party preferential market access since Partner States share a common Customs territory.
A focus on the ongoing Kenya-U.S trade negotiations is pertinent as a lens to rethink the trade and investment treaty making reform at the continental level in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”) (section 3). The authors conclude with concrete suggestions aiming to improve the drafting of the prospective Kenya-U.S FTA provisions.
The current century's threat to communities, including climate change and vast and deepening inequalities, may be aggravated by the Agreement. By limiting the power of governments to govern in the interests of the community and the environment, and bolstering a regulatory framework intended to advance the interest of multi-national corporations and only the wealthiest people, trade and investment agreements deepen issues of human rights. The RCEP may, as a consequence, advertently exclude marginalised groups, including women, indigenous peoples, migrants and essentially those without any capital or political power.
Regional trade agreements such as RCEP which include some of the major global palm oil producers including Malaysia and Indonesia could have been drafted to help sustainable palm oil production in both countries by eliminating markets for unsustainable palm oil. Despite all of the fanfare around RCEP, the RCEP treaty is a lost opportunity for using trade to advance human rights and environmental protection.
Without doubt, once in force, RCEP could stimulate COVID-19 recovery in the region by fostering greater investment among the fifteen Asia-Pacific countries. However, as the Agreement will be co-existing with other IIAs among the countries, it adds another noodle to the already growing spaghetti bowl of IIAs among the Asia-Pacific States.
For years UNCTAD has argued that hyperglobalisation, and the free trade agreements that promote it, has created unsustainable levels of instability, inequality, insecurity and ecological harm and called for a new paradigm of trade rules that is participatory and development-friendly, recognises the role of regulation and local political oversight, and can promote a level playing field and prosperity for all. The final RCEP argument is a symptom of that malaise - a step back from the excesses of the TPPA, but is a long way from a new paradigm.
This article reviews the policy advancements on digital taxation, the individual initiatives that some developed countries have enacted, and considers some recommendations for developing countries to address future changes. It also contains a brief analysis of the Ecuadorian VAT reform for digital services and other possible options that need to be considered by the country.
The African Union (AU) has recently taken bold steps to integrate the continent further. In 2015 members agreed on a broad integration plan, the Agenda 2063.