Increasing world trade

Trade agreements and trade liberalisation are two essential components
in the drive to increase the rate of growth of world trade.

Trade agreements can involve two countries reducing tariffs on each
other’s goods, or perhaps reducing bureaucracy by simplifying import/export

Trade liberalisation might involve creating free-trade areas.
This creates larger markets, greater access to raw materials, and more

The effect of both of these should be lower unit costs, lower prices and
greater choice..

Growth of Regional Trade Agreements in the Global Economy

The number of regional trade agreements (RTAs) across the global economy
have grown.

Some of these agreements are simply free-trade agreements which involve a
reduction in current tariff and non-tariff import controls so as to liberalise
trade in goods and services between countries.

Others have led to greater integration of economies e.g. EU.

Examples of regional trade agreements:

The European Union (EU) – a customs union, a single market and now with a
single currency
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – created in 2004
The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR)
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Free Trade Area (AFTA)
The Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)