1. SADC EPA negotiations down to 2 issues

A meeting of Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers is to take place in June to decide on the next step for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations between SADC and the European Union (EU). EPA negotiations in the SADC grouping are now down to two outstanding issues: export taxes and agricultural safeguards. Generally, SADC EPA states have been opposed to the inclusion of disciplines on the use of export taxes. They consider these tools as important to their industrialisation efforts. Agricultural safeguards are important to South African Customs Union (SACU) countries for which the agricultural sector holds a number of sensitivities on products such as poultry.


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  1. East Africa: Breakthrough in EAC-EU Trade Talks


Some progress has been made in talks on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the East African Community and the European Union. Negotiations on the Rules of Origin successfully ended on March. However, some issues remain outstanding such as export taxes, domestic support and export subsidies, good governance on tax matters and measures to mitigate effects of customs union agreements concluded with the EU. The EAC position of export taxes is that member countries should be free to impose tax whenever they need to get revenue from exports, and this comes after fostering the development of domestic infant industries as a temporary measure.


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  1. Signing EPAS means a High Cost for local Economy in Ghana


The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has been much debated in recent weeks with supporters of EPA claiming that signing the agreement is mutually beneficial to Ghana and the EU. Some note the costs to Ghana of signing the Agreement with the European Union such as a negative effect on the local manufacturing sector putting at risk 43,000 direct jobs and losing revenues for at least $90 million annually. Signing of the EPA will take away import and export tariffs as means of protecting the local industries and addressing the balance of payment deficits. 


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