A regional trade agreement (RTA) is a treaty or contractual agreement that two or more governments sign to grant each other preferential market access and set rules to govern their trade relations. Through trade agreements, governments agree on a range of obligations. These can include improved market opening for services and may also include regulatory disciplines for trade in services and investment, among other commitments.
RTAs are signed on a bilateral (an agreement between two governments) or regional basis (agreements with more than two governments). Governments signing these agreements benefit in terms of preferential market access. They also often contain rules that aim to facilitate trade in services. Visit the World Trade Organization (WTO) website for more information on regional trade agreements.
Trade agencies, industry associations, and chambers of commerce may have information on how you can benefit from regional trade agreements. The WTO’s RTA Database provides information on services commitments and services and investment rules in RTAs that have been notified to the WTO. The Integrated Trade Intelligence Portal (I-TIP) also allows for accessing and searching for services commitments in regional trade agreements.