In the last couple of years, we have witnessed tremendous happenings in the world of international trade and development. A good example of what transpired is the renewal of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and continued global ratification of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement.
While it seems like a step in the right direction, we can all agree that these trade liberalization agreements are not sufficient enough to address the bottlenecks and barriers that continue to constrain economic growth and poverty elimination in developing economies.
This blog post takes you through some of the ways to make free trade work for developing countries.
Support Investment in Regional Value Chains
It is essential that we support investment in regional value chains and promote inter-regional trade since it has the potential to expose and unlock the comparative benefits of economies. If this is not enough, it helps facilitate regional distribution of agricultural inputs for increased agricultural production and profitability.
Harmonizing Regional Policy through Legal and Regulatory Reform
We can never skimp on the essence of harmonizing regional policy through legal and regulatory reform when it comes to harnessing free trade between countries. And this is easy to see considering it gives domestic and international investors access to larger markets on a regional basis. Not to mention it helps support economies of scale and cost competitiveness.
Invest in Technical and Vocational Education and Training
Last but not least, we should consider investing in technical and vocational education and training when it comes to bolstering free trade between countries. After all, taking this approach helps upgrade the skills of the labor force to meet the demands of the private sector.
In some countries, decentralized vocational educational and training programs are providing training in plumbing, construction, and masonry, to mention a few. This supplies public works with the needed skills to continue the country’s rapid economic growth.
Of course, there are many other things that we can do to help foster free trade between developing countries in different parts of the world without feeling the heat.