While the ECOWAS governments and the European Commission are still agreeing the road map for the negotiations, EPAs have not been discussed fully with local stakeholders.
Unable to get its own way through the World Trade Organisation, the EU is now shamelessly trying to corral some of the world’s poorest nations into bilateral trade agreements that would severely disadvantage them.
This bold new report from Christian Aid explodes the myth that free trade is the answer to poverty.
Briefing Paper on the so-called EPA negotiations between EU and ACP countries within the framework of the Cotonou Agreement
The European Union is on the verge of implementing a series of free trade agreements and is leading a trade policy that can hold its own against the American policy.
Negotiators in the expected Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with European Union (EU) will have to stand their ground if they are to give Namibia a better deal from the EU, -more especially if they do not want to give the country a replica of the Free Trade Area (FTA) component, to which the country is already subjected, under the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) that the EU has with South Africa.
Non-Governmental Organisation’s and regional civil society organizations are concerned that not enough thought is being given to trade agreements, says coordinator Stanley Simpson.
Overview of Bilateral Negotiations 2004 involving Trade Agreements: State of Play 27 July
Zimbabwe has decided to negotiate its Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union under a new trading bloc known as the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) group.
Throughout history, international trade has generated considerable controversy. While conceding that some trade was imperative, Aristotle observed that trade was disruptive of community life. Until the 19th Century, most European powers viewed trade as a form of undeclared warfare. Their objective was - and still remains - the maximization of benefits accruing to themselves and minimization of those accruing to rival nations. The weapons of choice in this warfare were import barriers.
The liberalisation of trade between the EU and ACP countries through the current EPA negotiations will be detrimental to poverty reduction programmes and could even undermine the Cotonou Agreement itself. This is the conclusion of a new independent civil society study published by Eurostep and its partners from five ACP countries.
It has been a relatively easy matter for Pacific Islands Country (PIC)
governments to sign regional trade agreements such as PICTA (Pacific Island
Countries Trade Agreement - excluding Australia and New Zealand) and PACER (Pacific Agreement for Closer Economic Relations - including Australia and NZ.)
SADC has appointed Botswana to co-ordinate the first phase of negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.
This Sunday, trade representatives from member states of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) will meet their counterparts from the United States in Walvis Bay, to resume negotiations for a bilateral Free Trade Agreement, expected to be concluded by the end of this year.