Over 90 per cent of African CEOs are confident Africa’s continental free trade pact, AfCFTA, will have a positive impact on their businesses, a new survey by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFTRAC) has found.
The result of the survey of African CEOs from 46 countries, released last week, showed that the AfCFTA will have a positive effect on intra-African trade levels, as early as 2022-23. It also highlighted how African businesses see opportunities in external markets.
Amongst the respondents surveyed, 93 per cent were confident that the pact that turns Africa into one massive free trade zone would have a positive impact, with 26 per cent describing themselves as very confident.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the flagship project of the African Union’s Agenda 2063, a blueprint for attaining inclusive and sustainable development across the continent over the next 50 years.
It aims to boost intra-African trade by providing a comprehensive and mutually beneficial trade agreement among the member states, covering trade in goods and services, investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy.
According to the survey this year, over 800 executives active in the continent, from 46 countries in Africa, responded to the Africa CEO Trade Survey.
Speaking on the results of the survey, Pat Utomi, chairman of PAFTRAC, said the “survey clearly shows that the vast majority of African CEOs believe that the implementation of the AfCFTA will have a positive effect on levels of intra-African trade, even as early as 2022-23.
The report said “just 4 per cent of participants believe that the AfCFTA will have, or has already had, a negative impact on their businesses.”
“However, the survey showed that while Europe appears to be the favoured export destination, the Middle East is an increasingly popular destination given growing trade and investment ties with Africa,” Mr Utomi said.
The survey provides a unique insight into the challenges and opportunities that exist in trading in Africa and serves as an excellent barometer of private sector sentiment on African trade and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
It aims to provide the African private sector with a unified voice in informing trade policy at the continental and regional levels.
It was launched during the Afreximbank Annual Meetings, which are being held in the New Administrative Capital of Egypt from June 18.
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