Regional trading blocs


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Regional trading blocs

Most countries have joined the WTO (World Trade Organization) and signed agreements on trade. At the same time, countries have signed regional trading treaties, usually with neighbouring countries.

Regional trading blocs. The rise of Asian countries was set up in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Other countries have joined since then.

The EU, which started with only 6 members, is now one of the largest economic trade blocs. However, today, the EU is facing quite a few challenges: Brexit, the rise of populism, etc.

EFTA, the European Free Trade Association is the intergovernmental organisation of Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. It was set up in 1960 to promote free trade between its different members.

The EEA, European Economic Area, unites EU member states and 3 EFTA states (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) into an internal market, which means that goods, services, capital and people can move freely in the EEA.

The current president of the USA is renegotiating most trade agreements previously signed by the US. He recently signed UMSCA which is supposed to replace NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement).

Emerging economies

Also known as emerging markets, these are countries that are evolving from traditional economies, which rely mostly on agriculture, to developed and industrialised economies. 

They are rapidly growing and have huge potential for further growth (= « croissance ») but they sometimes show signs of political or economic instability.

Over the past decades, China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, other Asian countries as well as Brazil, Colombia or South Africa among others (= « parmi d'autres ») have experienced fast growth and industrialization.

They have achieved this partly thanks to their workforce and demography.

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