Establishing free trade area

Forming international free trade community

The European Commission adopted the MEDA II proposal with a view to establishing a Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area by 2010. The MEDA Regulation was adopted in 1996 and the beneficiaries are Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Malta , Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Up to 1998 the MEDA Programme has committed 2.325 million Euro and disbursed 600 million Euro in favour of economic transition, social cohesion and regional cooperation. Morocco, Tunisia, Israel, Morocco, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have agreed Association Agreements. Negotiations are in progress with Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Association agreements already exist with Cyprus, Malta and Turkey providing inter alia for the establishment of a Customs Union, an objective already reached with Turkey and largely with Cyprus. These three countries are candidates for accession to the European Union.

Following intensive negotiations the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union (EU) and South Africa was finally signed in Pretoria on 11 October 1999. The agreement, which will establish a free trade area between the parties over the next twelve years liberalising about 95% of trade, will have long-term benefits and commercial advantages for both sides. In particular, it will give South Africa preferential access to the world's largest market, opening up important opportunities for South African companies in sectors such as textiles and clothing, chemicals, food and vegetables.

The Summit of the Americas (April 2001, Quebec City) was a meeting of the 34 national governments of every country in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean (except Cuba). There was a discussion to extend the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) throughout the Americas to form the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by 2005.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities