1410 Working Group news on Trade – October

  1. EU strikes a comprehensive trade deal with East African Community

Negotiators from the EU and the East African Community (EAC) finalised a new comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between both regions. The agreement will provide legal certainty for businesses and open a long-term perspective for free and unlimited access to the EU market for products from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. However, with the EPA, the 4 Less Developing countries will be forced to open their domestic market to 80% of their imports from the EU losing the corresponding import duties, estimated at €162 million for the whole EAC. Not ratifying the EAC EPA would cost only € 61.8 million.


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       2.       COMESA, EAC, SADC ministers agree to launch Africa’s largest Free Trade Area


The Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will be launched in mid-December, 2014. The Tripartite FTA is the first phase of implementing a developmental regional integration strategy that placed high priority on infrastructure development and industrialisation.


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      3.       Call for civil society and elected officials in Europe and Africa


A new petition has been launched for civil society against the ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreements. The agreement will favour the most productivist, polluting and employment crushing forms of agriculture to the detriment of sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty and a transition towards ecological industries. The petition calls on European and African parliamentarians to REFUSE to ratify these agreements since the EU refused to consider all available alternatives that would have maintained the commercial benefits to African countries without forcing them to liberalize their markets.  


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  1. National Coalition against the EPA in Senegal


A national coalition of civil society organizations, youth movements, women and the private sector in Senegal was established to oppose the EPA in Senegal. The coalition called on President Macky Sall to withdraw from the agreement and urged members of the parliament not to ratify it. The coalition will organize campaigns and mobilization on the ground.


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