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What Is Non-Reciprocal Agreement

Increasing the exports of developing countries has long been seen as an essential element in promoting economic development. Over the past five decades, developed countries have granted developing countries preferential access to their markets through non-receptive trade agreements. In addition, developing countries have also participated in mutual trade agreements (bilateral, plurilateral or multilateral). In this paper, we examine comparatively the effects of reciprocal and non-reciprocal trade agreements on exports from developing countries to industrialized countries, but also on exports in the opposite direction. The result also shows that African mutual trade agreements perform worse than those in other regions. This is plausible considering that interregional trade in Africa has stagnated for decades at about 10% between African countries. As a result, the growth potential of mutual trade agreements in Africa is almost untapped, which could otherwise boost growth. According to a World Bank study, African food imports elsewhere have a trade value of up to $52 billion a year. This suggests that broad and deep mutual trade agreements in Africa have the potential to allow the region to replace its food imports from outside Africa. The overall impact of trade agreements on export flows cannot be captured only in concurrent years. Trade agreements change the terms of trade, which tends to have a delayed impact on the volume of trade. As a result, trade agreements can have an impact even a few years after their gradual appearance. The results of the OLS estimate of Eq (1) of structural gravity are presented in column 1 of Table 1.

As usual in the literature, we report standard errors grouped by country pairs (in parentheses). . . .

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