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Third WTO review of the trade policies and practices of Angola online

The World Trade Organization (WTO) Secretariat published the third review of the trade policies and practices of Angola. The document gives an overview of the current status of participation of the country to free trade agreements and other preferential arrangements, with the progress made in terms of regional integration.

Angola is a member of two of the AU-recognized regional economic communities, namely the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). However, it does not grant preferential duties under any of these agreements. In fact, it does not participate both in the SADC Free Trade Area and to the ECCAS preferential trade regime (TP/CEEAC), a program aimed at the achievement of a Free Trade Area in a progressive manner by removing customs duties on a first group of products that will be successively expanded.  Currently, the TP/CEEAC is implemented by only five ECCAS member states (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo and Gabon) at the moment on a list of 400 products.

Regarding the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Angola ratified the agreement on 6 October 2020.

Angola ratified in 2019 the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and is a beneficiary of the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Moreover, as a Less Developed Country (LDC), it is a beneficiary of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) schemes of a number of countries and customs territories in the world, including the European Union (EU). SADC members, together with Mozambique also signed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union in June 2016, but Angola has not adhered to it. However, the country it has been granted differentiated negotiating conditions on the terms of accession in case it will request to join this EPA in the future.

To be noted that the European Union and Angola concluded a Sustainable Investment Facilitation Agreement (SIFA) in November 2022. This is the first EU agreement of this kind, aimed at making it easier to attract and expand EU investments in Angola while integrating environmental rights and labour standards as defined in the fundamental International  Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions, that the Member States of the EU and Angola have respectively ratified. Importantly, the agreement foresees the provision of technical assistance and capacity-building for investment facilitation aimed at strengthening the investment climate in Angola and supporting the implementation of the Agreement. The EU-Angola SIFA is however still pending signature and ratification by both parties before entering into force.

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