THE South African-based law and business advisory firm, Centurion Plus, has launched the AfCFTA Impact Report, which will provide critical business impact assessment, especially for multinational companies and investors conducting business in Africa under AfCFTA protocols.
This will be a bespoke report for each entity and will be powered by Centurion’s fully integrated resource base of country-qualified and internationally mobile professionals in all 54 countries in Africa.
‘The long-awaited African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is finally operational, wherein trading commenced on January 1, 2021. This marks a celebrated milestone for intra-Africa trade. The AfCFTA eliminates tariffs on 90 per cent of goods produced on the continent, tackles non-tariff barriers to trade and guarantees the free movement of persons. It consolidates a market of 1.2 billion people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion,’ Centurion said in a statement earlier this week.
It said while the private sector in Africa has been grappling with dealing with the effects caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the AfCFTA provides for key benefits such as open borders, improved contracts, and better structured value chains. The private sector being a key stakeholder and a major beneficiary of the AfCFTA has a lot that it can benefit from the AfCFTA.
Centurion added: ‘The AfCFTA provides an opportunity for businesses to expand into African markets through the liberalisation of markets and the progressive reduction of access barriers within the continent. In addition, businesses can take advantage and participate in supporting the diversification of African economies away from low-value-added products and commodities as well as in the development of regional value chains. The AfCFTA enhances competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.
The AfCFTA Impact Report is a guide to what businesses need to know about the African Continental Free Trade Area including:
- AfCFTA’s impact on movement and provision of goods and services and the respective taxation outcomes
- Business optimisation opportunities
- Customs and immigration
- Employment, including movement of personnel and potential changes in permit laws and regulations
- Intellectual property
- trade and investment advantages
- Potential anti-trust and market access issues
- Potential environmental obligations
- Legal issues surrounding mergers and acquisitions
- dispute resolution
The guide will assist businesses and investors to identify the major opportunities provided by the AfCFTA, while also identifying the blind spots and shortcomings in terms of the business models to adopt.
‘While as an Africa-focused Group, we will provide updates and new resources to help you keep ahead of the developments in the AfCFTA. What we have launched here ensures that businesses take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the AfCFTA and transact end-to-end in Africa (including in ultra-frontier markets), with absolute confidence and at the most competitive business cost,’ it said.