The journey of EPAs continues to unfold, with each chapter revealing new complexities and challenges. As negotiations progress, it remains crucial to monitor the evolving dynamics and their implications for trade relations between the EU and its partner countries.
The European Commission published the report summarising progress made during the latest negotiation round to deepen the existing Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with five Eastern and Southern African partners.
As the end of the UK-EU transition period looms, the future trading relationship between the UK and Africa remains uncertain.
The third round of negotiations was held virtually from 24 to 27 November 2020. The next round is foreseen for April 2021.
The basket is dominated by produce such as peas, avocadoes, oranges, berries, flowers, plums, and tea and all these are expected to register exponential growth on the back of this launched partnership.
The second negotiating round for the deepening of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement was held virtually, from 6-8 July 2020.
The EU concluded the first round of negotiations to deepen the existing Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with five Eastern and Southern Africa partners.
Seychelles is for the first time hosting negotiations between the European Union and the Eastern Southern African States that are focusing on the implementation of an interim economic partnership.
The new agreement will hopefully cover ‘trade-related areas, such as services, investment, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights as well as trade and sustainable development,’ says EU Commission.
The UK-Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Trade Continuity Agreement is meant to replicate the Economic Partnership Agreement that the East African Community is yet to sign with the European Union.
Although ESA says it is committed to the full EPA process with EU, the bloc accuses the EU of dragging its feet and rather preferring to enter into EPAs with individual African states outside the collective economic integration framework.
The ESA-4 EPA (Economic Partnership Agreement) was signed by four countries – Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe – in August 2009 and is provisionally applied since 14 May 2012.
The sixth meeting of the EPA Committee under the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) between the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region and the EU was held in Antananarivo, Madagascar on 02-03 October 2017.
ECDPM has released a ‘Frequently asked questions’ guide to the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) between the EU and Africa.
Zambia, as chair of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) states negotiating with the EU, has commissioned an impact study of the EPA in ESA countries to be ready in July. Then, each ESA state will decide whether to sign or not.