The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)
The ACP was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. it is made up of a number of regional communities. All of the ACP members, except Cuba, are signatories of the Cotonou Agreement of 2000 with the European Union. The Cotonou Agreement is aimed at the reduction and eventual eradication of poverty while contributing to sustainable development and to the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy. The groups signed up to the ACP are: The Economic Community of West African States, East African Community, Eastern and Southern Africa Group, Southern Africa Development Community, The Central African Economic and Monetary Community, The Caribbean Community and the Pacific Islands Forum.
African Union (AU)
The Africa Union consists of 54 countries and was established in 2001 replacing the Organisation of African Unity. AU has 14 core aims among which are: to establish the necessary conditions which enable the continent to play its rightful role in the global economy and in international negotiations. To promote sustainable development at the economic, social and cultural levels as well as the integration of African economies.
Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO)
The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO) is an international organisation aimed at the promotion of sustainable development of the Amazon Basin.
The Andean Community (CAN)
CAN is a customs Union founded in 1969 when the Cartagena Agreement was signed. The CAN currently has four members after Chile and Venezuela withdrew.
Arab Maghreb Union (AMU)
The UMA is a trade agreement aiming for economic and future political unity among Arab countries of the Maghreb in North Africa. The treaty of the Arab Maghreb Union was signed in 1989. The Union has not achieved any tangible progress on its goals due to major economic and political disagreements between Morocco and Algeria. No high level meetings have taken place since 2008 and the Union is now stagnant and has effectively ceased to exist.
Association of Caribbean States (ACS)
The ACS was signed in 1994 in Colombia and is comprised of 25 members and seven associate members. The primary purpose of the ACS is to develop greater trade between the nations, enhance transportation and develop sustainable tourism.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
ASEAN was established in 1967 following the signing of the Bangkok Declaration. The aims of ASEAN are to accelerate economic growth, to provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities, to collaborate for the better utilisation of agriculture and industry to raise the living standards of the people.
Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD)
The ACD was established in 2002 to help integrate the various regional trade organisations such as, ASEAN, SAARC, the Culf Cooperation Council and the Eurasian Economic Union.
The Baltic Assembly works to increase intergovernmental cooperation between the three member countries. It attempts to find a common position on many international issues such as economic, trade, political and cultural objectives.
The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC)
BIMSTEC is a regional organisation of countries in South and South-East Asia. It’s main objective is to promote cooperation between member countries on issues such as: Trade and Investment, Transport and Communication, Energy, Tourism, Technology and Fisheries. BIMSTEC was originally know as BIST-EC and was founded in 1997
Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA)
ALBA is a regional organisation for countries in South America and the Caribbean. Founded in 2014 by Cuba and Venezuela to promote integration on social, political and economic issues. The organisation was designed to be a collaboration for socialist and social democratic nations in the region
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation (BSEC)
BSEC aims to develop cooperation, stability, peace and prosperity in the Black Sea region. The organisation was founded in 1994 following the Bosphorus statement in 1992. The Organisation has proved successful at stimulating entrepreneurship in the region and supporting the growth of SMEs.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM)
CARICOM is a regional organisation of 15 Caribbean nations. It was founded in 1973 and its main aim is to promote economic integration, coordinate foreign policy and provide a single market for its members.
Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME)
CSME also called the CARICOM Single Market and Economy is the single market associated with the CARICOM. Out of CARICOM’s 15 members, 12 are members of CSME.
Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)
CEFTA is a free trade agreement between European countries, that are not members of the European Union, established in 1994. Once a member joins the EU its membership of CEFTA ends as European Union members cannot be party to their own trade agreements. CEFTA is sometimes referred to as ‘the EU’s waiting room’ as it’s members are predominantly seeking EU membership.
The Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC)
CEMAC was created in 1994 by six countries, but didn’t become operational until 1999. The organisation aims to promote cooperation and exchange among its members and strengthen economic ties.
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
COMESA is a free trade area in Africa which was founded in 1994, replacing a preferential trade area established in 1981. In 2008 the East African Community and the Southern Africa Development Community joined, significantly expanding the organisation.
The Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 52 member states, who are predominantly former territories of the British Empire. The Commonwealth does not currently have a formal trade agreement, however following the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union, a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement has become a serious proposition. The Commonwealth does work to promote the shared interests of member countries globally, such as foreign policy.
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
CIS is an organisation of countries previously in the Soviet Union. Formed in 1991, nine out of the 15 former soviet states are members of the CIS with a further two associate members. The CIS works to coordinate members on trade, finance, lawmaking and security. Georgia was previously a member but withdrew in 2008.
Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area (CISFTA)
CISFTA is the free trade area for members of the CIS, It was established in 2012 and currently includes seven of the nine members of the CIS.
The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)
CEN-SAD is a free trade area within Africa formed in 1998 by six countries. It has since grown to include 27 members and aims to allow free movement of people between members and therefore increase economic unity.
Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)
CELAC was formed in 2011 and consists of 33 states in South and Central America and the Caribbean. The block deliberately does not contain the United States or Canada, as it is designed to separate Latin America from the US.
Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU)
Founded in 1957, the CAEU has 18 members and, according to the agreement aims to “Organize and consolidate economic relations among the States of the Arab League on bases that are consistent with the natural and historical links among them; and to provide the best conditions for flourishing their economies, developing their resources and ensuring the prosperity of their countries.”
East African Community (EAC)
The EAC is a regional common market in East Africa. Initially established in 1967 as a free trade area, it collapsed due to political deadlock in 1977. It was revived in 2000 and in 2010 launched it’s own common market with the end goal of creating a common currency and full political integration. EAC also became a member of COMESA in 2008.
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
ECCAS was formed in 1983 and was almost immediately struck by financial issues and conflict in the region made it inoperable. however, after a difficult start, ECCAS has now developed into a successful free trade area and has signed a trade deal with the EU.
Economic Community of the Great Lakes (CEPGL)
CEPGL was founded in 1976 and aims to promote trade between member countries. It has not been terribly successful and is now seen as almost defunct as it makes way for larger African trade blocs.
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
ECOWAS is an economic union in West Africa. Established in 1975, it has 15 members and has proved an effective grouping for increasing the economic development of member countries by stimulating internal trade.
Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO)
ECO is an political and economic regional organisation in Eurasia which was founded in 1985. It’s aim is to provide mutual support on development between members and promote trade within the group.
Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)
EEU is an economic union in northern Eurasia which was established originally in 2000 as an economic community before becoming a customs union in 2010, and finally an economic union in 2015.
European Economic Area (EEA)
The European Economic Area is the area allowing members access to the EU single market. Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland (also members of EFTA) must contribute to the EU budget and are bound by the rules of the internal market (about 21% of EU rules).
European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
The European Free Trade Association (EFTA) promotes free trade and economic integration amongst its members. The Association manages the EEA Agreement, which allows it’s members (excluding Switzerland) to access the EU single market. EFTA also has free trade agreements with other countries around the world.
European Union (EU)
The European Union is a politico-economic union of 28 member states in Europe. Originally the European Coal and Steel Community, created in 1951, it became the the European Union in 1993 at the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.
The Eurozone (Euro Area) is a monetary union on 19 states of the EU. These states have adopted the Euro as their currency.
Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA)
GAFTA is a free trade area, in northern Africa and the Middle East, established in 1997. It was formed following the adoption of the ‘Agreement to Facillitate and Develop Trade Among Arab Countries’ signed in 1881.
Founded in 2001 GUAM seeks to increase cooperation on issues such as development, security and European integration. One of the main issues GUAM focuses on is battling internal separatism and has created its own peacekeeping force.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
The GCC was formed in 1981 and is a collection of six gulf states. It is an intergovernmental political and economic agreement and is currently considering a proposal to become a full political and economic union.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Founded in 1986, IGAD was orrigninally known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Develpment befor becoming in Intergovernmental Authority on Development in 1996. It aims to improve the trade, investment and banking enviroment in member states.
Latin American and the Caribbean Economic System (SELA)
SELA was founded in 1975 and seeks to promote economic cooperation between the 28 member countries. SELA aims to: “restructure international commerce in basic commodities in order to raise developing states’ export values, improve trade conditions, stimulate industrial development, control foreign-based transnational corporations, create Latin American multinational companies which will use to better advantage the human, technological, and financial resources of the area, sponsor organizations to process and market raw materials, improve the negotiating power of the member states, and plan joint economic strategies.”
Latin-American Integration Association (ALADI)
ALADI is a trade bloc of 18 members in south and central America formed in 1980, replacing the Latin American Free Trade Assoiciation. It’s aim is to eventually create a Latin American Common Market, but currently just promotes trade accross its membership.
Mano River Union (MRU)
The MRU is a small group of states in West Africa which aims to support economic growth, social progress and cultural advancement. Founded in 1971 it was blighted by the internal conflicts of the Sierra Leone Civil War and both Liberian Civil Wars. in 2004 the Union was resurrected.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)
The MSG was founded in 1986 to promote economic growth among Melanesian countries. This includes stimulating inter membership trade, fostering economic cooperation between members and further shared goals of economic growth, good governance and security.
Mekong–Ganga Cooperation (MGC)
Established in 2000, MGC aims to support cooperation between its member countries, on tourism, culture, education and transport linkage to build a solid foundation for future trade and investment cooperation in the region.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
NAFTA is a trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States. It entered into force in January 1994. NAFTA’s terms provide for the elimination of most tariffs on goods. The liberalisation of trade in agriculture, textiles and automobiles was a key aim. The deal also sought to protect intellectual property, establish dispute-resolution mechanisms, and implement about and environmental safeguards. In 2017 President Donald Trump signed an executive order to renegotiate the NAFTA agreement, this could potentially signal the end of the agreement if all parties cannot agree on a new trading relationship or at least be damaging for trade and jobs in each member country.
The Nordic Council was established in 1953 following WWII. Initially as a common labour market allowing cross border freedom of movement between member countries. Plans for the creation of a single market were abandoned in 1959, as Denmark, Norway and Sweden opted to join the European Free Trade Area. in 1996, the Nordic Passport Union became part of the European Union’s Shengen Area.
Organisation of American States (OAS)
OAS was founded in 1948 succeeding the International Union of American Republics which was established in 1890. It’s main aims as outlined in Article 2 of the organisations charter include strengthening peace and security, promote democracy, promote economic, social and cultural cooperation, eradicate poverty and limit controversial weapons. during the 1990’s further objectives were included including fostering free trade, planning to create a free trade area spanning the entirety of North and South America and the Caribbean.
The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
OECS was established in 1981 and endeavours to create economic harmonisation and integration between the member states. The organisation has intended to create more formal ties between members including the creation of an OECS passport and and economic union, however each time it begins to develop plans, it is sidelined by the larger CARICOM grouping, whose membership includes all OECS members, and so drops the plans.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
OIC was founded in 1969 and aims to provide a collective voice for the Muslim world. The OIC aims to preserve Islamic social and economic values; promote solidarity amongst member states; increase cooperation in social, economic, cultural, scientific, and political areas; uphold international peace and security; and advance education, particularly in the fields of science and technology.
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
OPEC was created in 1960, by five petroleum producing countries, primarily to gain power from the American dominated multinational oil companies in setting the global price of oil. The current 13 member countries account for around 73% of global oil reserves. The organisation is often know as the world’s biggest cartel, due to its artificial raising of oil prices. It does this by restricting the production of oil, therefore reducing supply and increasing the price. By doing this, the organisation reduces competition and effectively reduce economic development across the rest of the world. The Channel Group actively campaigns against OPEC for its interference in the free market.
The Pacific Alliance was established in 2011 by the four founding members. The organisation’s main aims are to: build an area of deep integration to move progressively towards the free movement of goods, services, resources and people, drive further growth, development and competitiveness of the economies of its members and become a platform of political articulation, economic and commercial integration and projection to the world, with emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.
The Pacific Community (SPC)
The SPC was founded in 1947, initially as the South Pacific Commission by six countries, with an interest in the development of the region, Australia, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. since then, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have withdrawn in 1962 and 2004 respectively. The SPC aims to deliver the well-being of Pacific people through the effective and innovative application of science and knowledge, guided by a deep understanding of Pacific Island contexts and cultures. It focuses on issues such as climate change, disaster risk management, food security, gender equality, human rights, non-communicable diseases and youth employment.
The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
Founded in 1971, initially as the South Pacific forum, the organisation became the Pacific Islands Forum in 1999. The organisation’s main aim is to work in support of Forum member governments, to enhance the economic and social well-being of the people of the South Pacific by fostering cooperation between governments and between international agencies, and by representing the interests of Forum members in ways agreed by the Forum.
Petrocaribe was formed in 2005 by Venezuela to make oil more affordable for Caribbean states. The agreement allowed these states to purchase oil form Venezuela on conditions of preferential payment. Countries could purchase oil at market value for as little as 5% upfront with an agreement to pay of the remainder through a financing agreement of up to 25 years. The states would only pay interest if oil prices are above $40 a barrel and even then of only 1%. Countries can also repay Venezuela in goods and services in exchange for oil.
The Polynesian Leaders Group (PLG)
The PLG is a regional grouping of countries. It was established in 2011 and aims to produce sustainable economic development and encourage sharing knowledge and experiences in awareness and education to promote and protect cultures, traditions and languages; Encourage mutual support of development efforts in areas including but not limited to: transport, energy, environmental conservation, climate change, education, health, agriculture and fisheries, tourism, trade and investment.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
Founded in 2001, SCO is a political, economic and military organisation, succeeding the Shanghai Five. The SCO’s economic aims are to improve trade flows between member countries and in time create a free trade area. They are also working on plans to build a new banking system that is not so depended on the west. The organisation is keen to build its military ties and this has been partially implemented, this is mainly driven by Russia and China who have collaborated in war games, but it is resisted by India and others.
South African Customs Union (SACU)
SACU is a customs union founded in 1910, making it the oldest customs union in the world. Its aim is to maintain the free interchange of goods between member countries. It provides for a common external tariff and a common excise tariff to this common customs area.
South African Development Community (SADC)
SADC was founded in 1980 as The Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), before becoming SADC in 1992. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states. The SADC Free Trade Area was established in August 2008 aiming to increase inter-member trade.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
Founded in 1985, SAARC promotes regional integration and economic development. In 2006 it launched the South Asian Free Trade Area, reducing tariffs and barriers to trade between member states. The organisation is now handling major trade negotiations on behalf of members with other multinational organisations such as the European Union.
Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR)
MERCISUR is a regional common market in South America, founded in 1991, founded to promote free trade and ease trade flows of goods, people and currency between member states.
TPP is a proposed trade agreement between twelve of the Pacific Rim countries—notably not including China. TPP aimed to remove trade barriers between many of the biggest economies bordering the pacific ocean. However following the election of President Trump the United States has withdrawn from the agreement, calling its viability into question.
Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
TTIP is the trade agreement between the EU and United States. Negotiations started in 2013 but it’s future is in doubt following opposition in both the EU and US.
The Turkic Council
Established in 2009 the Turkic Council aims to: strengthen mutual confidence and friendship among the members; developing common positions on foreign policy issues; Coordinating actions to combat international terrorism, separatism, extremism and cross-border crimes; Promoting effective regional and bilateral cooperation in all areas of common interest; Creating favourable conditions for trade and investment; Aiming for comprehensive and balanced economic growth, social and cultural development; Expanding interaction in the fields of science, technology, education, health, culture, sports and tourism;
Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)
UNASUR is a continental union in South America, signed in 200, which came into force in 2011. The bloc is still in its early stages of development and currently promotes integration between members whilst promoting cultural ties and trade. The union plans to model itself on the European Union including the creation of a common currency, parliament and passport.
The Union State of Belarus and Russia was initially founded in 1996 as the commonwealth of Belarus and Russia, before becoming the Union State in 1997. It was created to link the Belarusian economy with that of the much stronger Russian economy to gain economic advantage. one of the long term objectives of the organisation is to create a federation, like the Soviet Union, with a common government, constitution, currency and citizenship.
West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)
UEMOA is a customs and currency union and was formed in 1994 by members of the ECOWAS group of West African states. UEMOA contains the predominantly french speaking members of the group who share the CFA franc as a common currency. Its main objectives are; greater economic competitiveness, through open markets, in addition to the rationalisation and harmonisation of the legal environment; the convergence of macro-economic policies and indicators; the creation of a common market; the co-ordination of sectoral policies; the harmonisation of fiscal policies.
West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)
WAMZ was founded in 2000, and is a group of six countries from the wider ECOWAZ group. The WAMZ plans to introduce a common currency called the Eco. The aim is to create a currency to rival the CFA franc, the currency of the other members of ECOWAZ.