In the fast changing global economic scenario regional trade agreements will have a major role in stimulating trade and growth in developing economies. This will be all the more important because the traditional impetus from developed countries will no longer be guaranteed, as they recover in the post-crisis period. The lack of progress in multilateral trade negotiations within the WTO framework is also a factor that encourages RTAs.
But for RTAs to work and display their full potential governments will have to show greater commitment to removing suspicions of the benefits of free trade and globalisation. They will also have to show greater commitment to doing away or minimising hegemonic disputes which are common in South and East Asia, Latin America and Africa.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
January 1, 1994
United States of America, Canada and Mexico
European Union (EU)
July 23, 1952
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom
Southern Cone Common Market (MERCOSUR)
March 26, 1991
Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Venezuela
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
May 25, 1981
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
December 21, 1991
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan,
Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
December 8, 1985
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN)
August 8, 1967
Brunei-Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippine, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam
Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2013.
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