FERDI's work focuses on three areas:
Effects and challenges of regional integration. The work carried out covers the whole range of integration issues, from the impact of monetary zones and multilateral surveillance of macro-economic policies to infrastructure, and fiscal and trade policies.
Trade facilitation. FERDI analyses the impact of measures that affect developing countries' trade in goods. These can be trade facilitation measures or protection measures such as non-tariff measures.
Sustaiable Competitiveness. The Sustainable Competitiveness Observatory (Observatoire de la Compétitivité durable, in French) aims to analyse the capacity of each of the 54 African countries to integrate into the global economy. This is analysed through the vulnerability of economies, the attractiveness of territories, and price competitiveness. These three items are also linked to performance variables, in this case, the overall and product-specific evolution of market shares. https://competitivite.ferdi.fr/
Sustainable competitiveness and support for the CEMAC Commission in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. After analysing the impact on CEMAC of the external shocks from Covid and the erratic movements of oil prices, FERDI looked at the region's long-term development strategy. This work focused on the competitiveness of member states and the prospects for economic diversification. It helped support CEMAC in discussions with the IMF as part of the negotiation of the second generation of agreements.
CEMAC and reform of the common currency. Given the importance of the current debates and the mandate given by the Heads of State to the Commission and the BEAC about the reform and development of a common currency, FERDI has continued to contribute to the studies on this theme. The necessary changes to the multilateral surveillance framework in a period marked by external shocks also gave rise to work on a possible multilateral stabilisation fund or public debt, as well as on the CEMAC Commission's own financing.
University centres of excellence. The Heads of State of the CEMAC zone having decided to structure higher education and research around university centres of excellence, the CEMAC Commission asked FERDI to conduct a feasibility study. Based on an inventory of existing training courses and their economic model, recommendations were formulated and presented at a workshop on 7 and 8 April 2022.
The Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) is the only multilateral agreement which has been in force since the creation of the WTO. The TFA has specific objectives which can be subject to a quantitative analysis of its progress. FERDI is trying to assess what its contribution can be in the context of economic and monetary unions.
The launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) in 2021 has been the subject of numerous studies. After contributing to the AfDB's 2019 Annual Report, and ACET's third report on structural transformation in Africa, Jaime de Melo continues to assess the policies for implementing the FTAA, including efforts to deliver the regional public goods essential for the long-term success of the FTAA.