Trade News - February 2013

Working Group on Trade News - February 2013


Civil Society Opposed to further Opening West African Market to the EU

West Africa Community and EU are in a new phase in their EPA negotiations. The civil Society Platform in West Africa (POSCAO) decided on 15th February 2013, to draw the attention of negotiators once again on the risks related to market opening for more than 70% to the EU and are warning West African negotiators against any violation of the mandate given them by the region. However, the EU has always called for a market opening of at least 80%. Different studies estimate that opening to 70% is economically unsustainable on the long run and liberalization beyond 70% could impact negatively on employment, growth and household incomes in many countries of the region, especially LDCs.

POSCAO Press release on EPAs.pdf




African Producers Enhance their Bargaining Power

Will we build a system that works for all, or just a few? This pertinent question was posed to the convention delegates of the Africa Fairtrade Convention gathered in Addis Ababa to discuss how small-scale farmers can strengthen their position in the value chain. The delegates, gathering from 29 countries, identified numerous challenges such as lack of access to decent rural infrastructure, credit schemes and up-to-date price systems. This makes it difficult for farmers to respond to market changes, which is a huge disadvantage on the international market. By increasing farmer’s participation in the value chain process on a national, regional or global level, producers can enhance their bargaining power. African producers have to support south-to-south trade as a vehicle for change. To increase and improve trade amongst African countries is part of the solution.

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