Derk Bienen, May 2010

The establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) which would combine the members of three existing regional economic communities, i.e. the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), was decided at the 2008 Tripartite Summit. The purpose of the TFTA will be to harmonise trade arrangements among SADC, COMESA and EAC, improve the movement of persons within the region, facilitate the joint implementation of infrastructure projects and enhance co-operation of members.

Derk Bienen, July 2009

Arguably, the accession of Ethiopia to the World Trade Orgainsation (WTO) will have an important impact on the country's private sector. In spite of this, the private sector's role in accession negotiations has to date been very limited. Although the private sector is represented in Ethiopia's WTO Technical Committee, so far no strategy has been prepared by the private sector in order to ensure that WTO accession works to its benefit. With an estimated three to four years left until accession, the definition and implementation of such a strategy now is an urgent task, as measures will take time to yield results.

Yishak Tekaligne Taye, June 2009

The purpose of this paper is to identify and empirically analyze determinants of export performance of Ethiopia. It begins with a novel decomposition of the growth in countries’ exports into the contribution from internal supply-side and external market access conditions. Building on the results of this decomposition, it moves on to an econometric analysis of the determinants of export performance. A gravity model is employed with panel data using 30 Ethiopia’s trading partners for the period 1995–2007. The model is estimated with the Generalized Two Stages Least Squares (G2SLS) method. Endogeneity of FDI and GDP to exports, heteroskedasticity and serial correlation for AR (1) are controlled.

Gebrehiwot Ageba and Derk Bienen, October 2008

Negotiations on trade in financial services will be one of the key issues of Ethiopia's WTO accession process. This is due to both the importance of financial services for the economy at large and the nature of trade in services. Regarding the former, financial services, which include banking, insurance, securities and related services, play an important role for national development by steering the flow of resources within the economy. Conversely, the banking industry can also be a source of fragility, especially in countries where domestic economic activity is concentrated in particular industries or commodities, making it difficult to diversify risk and absorb shocks to the financial system.

Derk Bienen, June 2008

There is currently a dynamic discussion within the international donor community about a segment of the aid process that is usually ignored or let at the disposal of lawyers or procurement specialists, even in the context of the aid harmonisation and aid effectiveness discussions – the procurement of aid. Nevertheless, there is unanimity that good practices in procurement are a key factor for effective and efficient provision of aid and also contribute to a framework of good governance and free and fair competition in general. In this context, the EU and its Member States have been discussing the harmonisation of their respective procedures for the procurement of development assistance contracts.