Economic Integration

Business studies study module

This occurs where two or more countries enter into a mutual agreement to cooperate with each other for their own economic benefit. They may do this by allowing free trade or relaxing their existing trade barriers for the member countries.

Economic integration may occur in the following forms;

Free Trade Area

This is a case where the member countries agree to abolish or minimize tariffs and other trade restrictions but the individual countries are free to impose restrictions on non-member countries. They includes; Preferential Trade Area (P.T.A), European Free Trade Area (E.F.T.A), Latin America Free Trade Area (L.A.F.T.A), etc.

Custom union

This is where the members of the free trade area may agree not only to abolish or minimize their tariffs, but also establish a common tariff for the exchange of goods and services with the non member countries. They include; Economic Community of West Africa States (E.C.O.W.A.S), East Africa Custom Union (E.A.C.U), Central Africa Custom and Economic Union (C.A.C.E.U)

Common Market

This is where the member countries allow for free movement of factors of production across the borders. People are free to move and establish their business in any member country. They include; East Africa Common Market (E.A.C.M), European Economic Community (E.E.C), Central American Common Market (C.A.C.M), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)

Economic Union

This is where the members of the common market agree for put in place a common currency and a common central bank for the member countries. They even develop common infrastructures which includes railways, communication networks, common tariffs, etc

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