Summaries of Trade Policy Studies02 Feb 2012
Ethiopia applied to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2003. However, reformative policies aimed at ensuring rapid integration into the multilateral trading system are not yet fully in place or implemented to complete WTO accession. Broad policy discretion over tariffs and other trade measures are in the hands of Ethiopia’s policy makers. Lessons from recently acceded countries indicate that the WTO accession process is quite complex and demands thorough preparation to allow well informed decisions on trade policy reforms that need to be made in-country to meet the requirements of accession. WTO rules and conditions have to be fully analyzed to understand the implications of WTO membership on the acceding economy.
Analysis of the implications of Ethiopia’s integration into the global and regional trading system is critical to facilitate informed decisions that will help maximize the benefits of increased integration while limiting the negative impacts therein. It is important for Ethiopia to find the right mix of policies that will enable it to achieve its Growth and Transformation Plan (2011-2015) and the long-term goal of achieving middle-income country status by 2025 within a more open economy.
To support this process, UNDP has partnered with the Ministry of Trade and the European Union to build national capacity to make informed decisions about regional and global economic integration. Six studies have therefore been undertaken on the benefits and challenges of integration, and have offered clear recommendations on how to address the challenges and also take advantage of opportunities offered by
increased economic integration.