Regional Trade Agreements

Unloading at the docks. Mexico.


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One of the key challenges that developing countries face has to do with their integration into the world trading system which accelerates economic growth and increase competitiveness of local producers. While multilateral liberalization under the aegis of the World Trade Organization takes time, regional trade agreements (free trade areas, custom unions, and preferential arrangements) – either North-South like Economic Partnership Agreements or South-South like COMESA, CAFTA or ASEAN – is a policy option that increasingly appeals to governments of poor countries.

The study of various regional agreements involving developing countries constitutes the core of this research program which is based on computable general equilibrium (e.g. MIRAGE model of the world economy, interconnected single country models for Central America) and advanced databases on market access.