The rapid spread of regionalism is surely one of the most important recent developments in the global trade system. Nearly every developing country is in, or is discussing, a regional integration arrangement. Many are also seeking advice from the World Bank either on whether to join one or on how one might best be organized. Given the very "second best" nature of preferential trade arrangements (PTAs), unlike global, multilateral trade liberalization, there are few universally accepted rules of conduct that are applicable to all such arrangements. Nevertheless, the Bank's research and operational work in this area in many regions of the world has generated a wealth of information and experience that can provide Bank economist and policy makers in the client countries alike, broad guidelines in their dealings with regional integration issues. The purpose of this site is to make available to the user the basic information and lessons of experience on regional preferential trade arrangements.
Last updated on Jun 11, 2009