Should sub-Saharan African countries reform their trade policies in order to integrate regionally within the continent or favor multilateral liberalization ? What are the implications of thses choices on their objective to increase local processing of agricultural products ?
In an IFPRI Policy brief, Mathilde Douillet is presenting options for Malawi.
Mathilde Douillet as part of her PhD research at FARM has conducted a study that assesses for the first time, with a conventional tool of trade policy analysis, the comparative effects of an ambitious regional integration within sub-Saharan African countries and a multilateral integration as negotiated under the World Trade Organization. Preliminary results of this study were presented to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Malawi in November 2011. Karl Pauw, a researcher at IFPRI, and Mathilde Douillet have captured the key findings in a publication by IFPRI, posted in January 2012 on the website of this organization,
This brief provides an overview of the study’s implications for Malawi. Recommendations to policy makers include favoring regional integration rather than multilateral liberalization and improving the competitiveness of agro-industrial sectors. It concludes that trade policy should be used as a complementary tool to development policies, but cannot replace them.