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The Global Landscape of FTAs

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This chapter examines the fast spread of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) since the turn of the century, with about 300 agreements in force and notified to the WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2017. Recent agreements often include services, and the number of FTAs across world regions is on the rise. This chapter examines the coverage of FTAs between the 40 largest countries in the world, plus the EU. On average, for the 41, FTAs covered only 10 out of 40 trade relations in 2017. Small countries such as Singapore top the list; the EU is on the rise, but the USA is below average. Within Asia, the FTA coverage has increased particularly fast. More than half of the world trade in goods is between countries that had an FTA in 2017. This share was considerably higher for trade within the world regions, but much lower for trade between them.


  • Free Trade Agreement (FTAs)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • Transatlantic Trade And Investment Partnership (TTIP)
  • Partial Scope Agreements
  • Inter-regional Trade Flows

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-92834-0_3
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  1. 1.

    For country selection and for calculating these shares, we use data from the World Bank: World Development Indicators.


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Melchior, A. (2018). The Global Landscape of FTAs. In: Free Trade Agreements and Globalisation. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-92833-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-92834-0

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