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Trade in the WAEMU; Developments and Reform Opportunities


  • Hans Weisfeld
  • Manuela Goretti


This paper provides an overview of trade reform in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) since 1996 and a quantitative assessment of potential effects on trade patterns and tariff revenue of the current reform agenda. Despite evidence of significant trade complementarities within WAEMU, implementation of the union's current trade regime still suffers from persistent non-tariff barriers and administrative weaknesses. Based on an assessment of prospects for further trade integration, the paper also recommends strengthening the implementation of the present tariff union and supports the plan to extend it to all ECOWAS members. Finally, the paper stresses that an Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU could bring to the region the political momentum needed to address the weaknesses of the current trade regime, while also underlining the corresponding challenges in terms of trade diversion and tariff revenue losses.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Weisfeld & Manuela Goretti, 2008. "Trade in the WAEMU; Developments and Reform Opportunities," IMF Working Papers 08/68, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/68

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
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    3. Kym Anderson & Will Martin & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, 2006. "Would Multilateral Trade Reform Benefit Sub-Saharan Africans?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(4), pages 626-670, December.
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    5. Hoekman, Bernard & Ozden, Caglar, 2005. "Trade preferences and differential treatment of developing countries : a selective survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3566, The World Bank.
    6. Charalambos G Tsangarides & Jan Kees Martijn, 2007. "Trade Reform in the CEMAC; Developments and Opportunities," IMF Working Papers 07/137, International Monetary Fund.
    7. Arvind Panagariya, 2002. "EU Preferential Trade Arrangements and Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(10), pages 1415-1432, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Montfort Mlachila & Tidiane Kinda, 2011. "The Quest for Higher Growth in the WAEMU Region; The Role of Accelerations and Decelerations," IMF Working Papers 11/174, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Yvonne Sperlich & Stefan Sperlich, 2012. "Income Development and Sigma convergence in South–South Agreement Areas," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 12031, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    3. Mario MANSOUR & Grégoire ROTA-GRAZIOSI, 2013. "Tax coordination, tax competition, and revenue mobilization in the west african economic and monetary union," Working Papers P81, FERDI.
    4. Magazzino, Cosimo, 2012. "Revenue and expenditure nexus: A case study of ECOWAS," Economics Discussion Papers 2012-57, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. Gnutzmann, Hinnerk; Gnutzmann-Mkrtchyan, Arevik, 2016. "The Silent Success of Customs Unions," Economics Working Papers ECO2016/02, European University Institute.
    6. Hinnerk Gnutzmann & Arevik Gnutzmann-Mkrtchyan, 2016. "The Silent Success of Customs Unions," CESifo Working Paper Series 5944, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Maïmouna DIAKITE & Jean-François BRUN & Souleymane DIARRA & Nasser ARY TANIMOUNE, 2017. "The effects of tax coordination on the tax revenue mobilization in West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)," Working Papers 201712, CERDI.
    8. Gilles Duffrenot & Kimiko Sugimoto, 2010. "Pegging the future West African single currency in regard to internal/external competitiveness: a counterfactual analysis," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp974, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

    More about this item


    Tax revenues; Trade; Tariffs; West African Economic and Monetary Union; WAEMU; Economic Partnership Agreement; trade liberalization; trade diversion; tariff revenue; tariff rates; trade regime;

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