Publication: Congo, Democratic Republic of - Enhanced Integration Framework Program (EIF) : diagnostic trade integration study

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The goal of the Congo, Democratic Republic of (DRC's) trade policy is to create a regulatory, fiscal and institutional environment in which domestic and foreign trade can develop unhindered, opening up the country's vast territory and integrating it into regional and international trade channels. In this respect, the analyses in this report highlight three priorities: (i) to streamline and reduce port taxation; (ii) to conclude the negotiations on a future Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU); and (iii) to move ahead with regional integration with the DRC's natural partners. The identification of these priorities is based on the diagnosis of the DRC's macroeconomic and trade performance and the implications of its choices in terms of trade policy Although it is sometimes said that natural resources are 'a curse' when referring to the disappointing performance of many commodity-exporting countries, work carried out recently has .shown that an abundance of natural resources is not, in itself, a factor inhibiting growth. What is important for the DRC and for all other commodity-exporting countries is to put in place an environment that is beneficial for all sectors of the economy, in which all people and sectors have access to factors of production in a competitive environment where the rule of law is respected. A stable macroeconomic environment is the essential prerequisite for efficient markets. The Congolese economy, however, has recently been subject to considerable pressures. During the last quarter of 2008, commodity prices temporarily collapsed. In addition, disturbances in the Eastern provinces led the Government to increase spending on national defence, financing this through a loan from the Central Bank. This unrest led to market fears concerning the stability of the Congolese franc, helping to cause its depreciation. The authorities' response in terms of macroeconomic policy has been ambiguous, particularly as regards monetary policy. This report is divided into five chapters: implementation and recommendations; trade performance and the policy in the DRC; trade facilitation; performance of sectors upstream: infrastructure and services; and performance of sectors downstream: mining, agriculture, and forestry.
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World Bank. 2010. Congo, Democratic Republic of - Enhanced Integration Framework Program (EIF) : diagnostic trade integration study. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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