Trade blocs

Published: February 4, 2013

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. DESIGN: SAMAD SIDDIQUI

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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