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Forms of Regional Integration



We may identify five main types or forms of regional integration, classifying them by a
rising degree of intensity. They are:
· Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), which is formed with the reduction of
custom duties (mainly tariffs) on trade among members relative to those on trade
with non-members.
· Free Trade Area (FTA), which involves the elimination of tariffs and quotas on
the trade among member countries.
· Customs Union (CU), which goes a step further than the FTA as in addition to
free trade within the union, there is a common external tariff (CET) against nonmembers.
· Common Market (CM), which is a CU that allows for the free movement of
factors of production among member countries. Thus, it encompasses intra-union
free trade, a common external tariff against non-member countries and free
movement of factors of production (labour and capital) within the union.
· Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), which is a common market in which
there is a single currency and monetary policy, and in which major economic
policies (particularly fiscal policy) are coordinated or harmonized. Often, there is
a compensation policy, which involves transfer of income to poorer or
disadvantaged members of the Union.

African Development Bank
Economic Research Working Paper Series
Enhancing Africa’s Trade: From Marginalization
to an Export-Led Approach to Development
Milton A. Iyoha
Professor, Department of Economics & Statistics
University of Benin, Nigeria
Economic Research Working Paper
No 77 (August 2005)


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The African Development Bank is the premier financial development institution of Africa, dedicated to combating poverty and improving the lives of people of the continent and engaged in the task of mobilizing resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries.The Bank’s s mission is to promote economic and social development through loans, equity investments, and technical assistance. The ADB is a multilateral development bank whose shareholders include 53 African countries and 24 non-African countries from the Americas, Asia, and Europe. It was established in 1964, with its headquarters in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and officially began operations in 1967.
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