Economic Community Of West African States
There were strong indications last week that the free trade agreement between Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union may not be signed before its subsisting deadline-June 30th 2009 because of the need to protect the collective regional interest of ECOWAS States.
Forty days to the June 30, 2009 signing of the free trade agreement between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU), the sub-Saharan bloc has raised fresh issues that need to be resolved before the pact is sealed.
With cross-border price-undercutting, mounting debt and a lack of buyers, many tomato farmers in Ghana’s Upper East Region are turning to suicide. Yet with European Union Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) currently being negotiated, West African markets are about to be flooded with heavily subsidised EU products
Twenty six African countries seeking to merge their economies into a single trading bloc that controls a combined wealth of $ 624m and a market of 527m people moved to a definitive stage after their leaders approved plans to establish a free trade area early this week.
Members of the Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organisation (GAPTO) have called on the governments of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) not to conclude the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with European Union (EU) in June, this year.
The European Commission (EC) will give Nigeria 600 million euros to assist it in the areas of trade and regional integration, the head of the EC delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Dennis Theulin said here Friday.
West Africa civil society platform of the Economic Partnership Agreement has said unrealistic timetable constituted the main constraint facing the Economic Community of West African States in reaching a conclusion on the agreement.
Civil society organisations have asked governments of ECOWAS countries to suspend all trade-related negotiations with the EU.
Ghana would by September next year cease to adhere to the rules and conditions of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement that it signed with the European Commission in December 2007 when the ECOWAS-EU policy comes into force.
The ECOWAS Trade Commissioner, Mohammed Daramy, has given some of the many reasons why Nigeria refused to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which deadline expired on December 31, 2007.
West African states are working at salvaging regional relations with a renewed attempt to collectively negotiate an economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
From Ken Ukaoha, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS)
West African countries agreed on Monday on an 18-month timetable to negotiate and sign a regional economic partnership agreement with Europe by June 2009, top officials said.
Ghana signed an interim trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, joining a rush among poor countries to safeguard exports to the world’s biggest trading bloc after preferential terms expire at the end of the year.
Ivory Coast inked an interim trade accord with the European Union on Friday as the bloc pushes for deals with as many former European colonies as possible before preferential trade terms expire on December 31. The top cocoa producer is the first West African country to sign a bilateral deal, breaking ranks with the region’s ECOWAS economic community.
West Africa is sticking by its demand for an extended World Trade Organisation waiver for trade with Europe, rejecting an EU call for new interim commercial deals by December 31.
The Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) on Friday served notice to government that it would avail itself of all legal instruments to stop the signing and/or implementation of either the full Economic Partnership Agreement or the EPA-light.
Nigeria could also lose $680 million annually if the agreements were implemented, according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria
The European Union has rejected calls by West African states to postpone the end-of-year deadline for concluding a free trade agreement.
India decided on October 16 to extend a line of credit of 250 million USD and 100 million USD worth of agricultural and industrial supplying for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It also agreed to sign within the next six months a bilateral investment promotion and protection treaty with Nigeria.