Other international organizations, such as the International Standards Organization, the World Customs Organization, the WTO and the World Bank, must help African countries overcome technical barriers and trade barriers resulting from health and plant health measures in importing countries. These barriers are becoming more and more important as tariff levels fall. If trade preferences for African countries have not worked at all, there is no risk of preference erosion as a result of the liberalization of the MFN. The ability of African countries to use trade preferences appears to be different. With regard to exports of textiles and clothing to the United States under AGOA, for example, several African countries – Lesotho, Swaziland, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius and Namibia – have significantly increased their exports, while many others have not demonstrated such capacity. The IMF has taken steps to address the problem of preference erosion. Last April, the IMF`s Executive Board approved the Trade Integration Mechanism (TIM). It is intended to finance balance-of-payments deficits due to textile shocks, rising food import prices and the penetration of preference erosion due to multilateral liberalization. It is hoped that TIM will alleviate the fears of many developing countries about trade shocks resulting from the success of the Doha Round. In July 2004, Bangladesh was the first country to receive TIM support under the FGMG-supported programme. Bangladesh is forecasting a decline in textile exports following the planned abolition of textile quotas in early 2005.
Some African countries (for example. B Lesotho, Madagascar and Mauritius) are facing similar shocks. In collaboration with partners such as the WTO and the OECD, the World Bank Group provides information and support to countries wishing to sign or deepen regional trade agreements. In practical terms, the WBG`s job is to say that countries that already have a well-functioning VAT are best placed to recover the revenue lost as a result of trade reform. Regional trade agreements are multiplying and changing their nature. In 1990, 50 trade agreements were in force. In 2017, there were more than 280. In many trade agreements, negotiations today go beyond tariffs and cover several policy areas relating to trade and investment in goods and services, including rules that go beyond borders, such as competition policy, public procurement rules and intellectual property rights. ATRs, which cover tariffs and other border measures, are “flat” agreements; THE RTAs, which cover more policy areas at the border and at the back of the border, are “deep” agreements. Regional formal trading systems are a recent phenomenon only in East Asia1,1, which has largely encouraged trade liberalization on the basis of MFN. The region`s first integration agreement, ASEAN, established in 1967, was intended only to facilitate trade, particularly in the sense of regional security.
Nevertheless, with the shift from an inward-looking growth strategy to an outward growth strategy in the late 1950s (Japan began after World War II and China in the late 1970s), the region has systematically opened its markets to the rest of the world.