1603 Working Group News on Trade – March 2016

            1.  The regional EPA between the EU and Central Africa is a threat to the countries of ECCAS


The regional EPA (Central Africa-EU) is a free trade agreement that would be a disadvantage for Central African countries compared to the European Union because Central African countries have low capacity to cope with the European competition and no-trade barriers that make difficult to export their goods and agricultural products. The European Union encourages the countries of the Central African region to sign this agreement which calls for abolition of customs duties on agricultural products.


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              2.       EU "protectionism" over citrus black spot


South African government minister Rob Davies has accused the EU of protectionism over the citrus disease. The recent decision by the country's citrus industry to terminate exporting their fruit through Spain, because of objections against fruit with the black spot fungus (CBS), underscores the fact that the EU is applying "protectionist" measures. “It underscored the fact that Europe’s objections to South African fruit exports were not truly about plant health, but about restricting South African exports in favour of its own producers," he stated. "It was a protectionist measure.”


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            3. West Africa and EU prepare towards EPA implementation     

West Africa (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) are gearing up for the finalisation of the signatures for the onward commencement of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). West Africa and the EU continue to prepare for the implementation of the EPA (pending its signature by all member states) in order that the Agreement becomes operational immediately upon entering into force. The regional agreement covers trade in goods and development-cooperation. It also contains rendezvous clauses for future negotiations on trade in services and other trade-related issues.


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          4. Namibia and SADC to finally sign EPA


The Southern Africa country is now set to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) by October 2016. By ratifying the EPA, Namibia and other SADC member countries will have duty-free export of goods to Europe if their products have the requirements of Sanitary and phytosanitary European standards. On the other hand the SADC countries will be invaded by European products putting on risk the African industry and the life of many.


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