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Jakarta Post

Setting sights on ‘free trade’ Africa

  • Arifi Saiman

Jakarta   /   Tue, August 20 2019   /  01:10 am

Africa is rapidly turning into a free trade continent and a single market of 1.2 billion consumers with a combined gross domestic product of US$2.5 trillion.Economic integration is moving faster under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into force in May. Pending more ratification by member countries — 27 of its 54 signatories have done so thus far — free trade could become fully operational by July 2020.The poorest continent in the world is rapidly catching up, and Asia may have to accommodate and agree to rename this era as the Asia-Africa Century.Indonesia has caught the African fever, but with AfCFTA, it can do a lot more and faster in tapping the growing economic and business opportunities on offer.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo already appealed to the business community in 2017 to take Africa more seriously as a new alternative market and reduce Ind...