INTERIM AGREEMENT ESTABLISHING A FRAMEWORK FOR AN ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA STATES ON THE ONE PART AND THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND ITS MEMBER STATES ON THE OTHER PART
As first "initialled" by Zimbabwe and the Seychelles on 28 November 2007 and by Mauritius on 5 December 2007
Presentation of the agreement by the European Commission:
“The European Commission initialled (agreed by the negotiators, but not yet signed by the govenments) an interim trade agreement with the Seychelles and Zimbabwe of the ESA region in Brussels on 28 November 2007. The deal includes a WTO-compatible market access schedule, provisions on development cooperation, fisheries and other issues. Negotiators confirmed that the agreement is open to other parties in the region, who are expected to join in the near future. The agreement is a framework towards the completion of a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement by the end of December 2008.
The agreement allows for 100% liberalisation by value by the EU as of 1 January 2008, with transition periods for rice and sugar. The Seychelles will liberalise 97% of its imports from the EU by 2022: 58% of their imports will be liberalised after five years, 78% by 2017 and the remaining 19% by 2022. Zimbabwe will liberalise 80% of their imports from the EU by 2022: 45% by 2012 with the remaining 35% of their imports being liberalised progressively until 2022.
Several products from different sectors have been excluded from liberalisation, mainly due to the need to protect sensitive products or infant industries in the countries. In the case of Seychelles, these include meat, fisheries, beverages, tobacco, leather articles, glass and ceramics and vehicles. In the case of Zimbabwe, excluded products include products of animal origin, cereals, beverages paper, plastics and rubber, textiles and clothing, footwear, glass and ceramics, consumer electronics and vehicles.
The Parties will cooperate to facilitate the implementation of the Agreement and support regional integration and development strategies. They agreed that cooperation will be based on the ESA Development Cooperation Strategy and a jointly agreed Development Matrix. They will cooperate to mobilise resources additional to the financial framework of the EU, from EU Member States and other donors, in particular expanding Aid for Trade commitments, relating specifically to EPA support requirements and adjustment costs.
The agreement contains an extensive fisheries chapter, mainly aiming at reinforcing cooperation on sustainable use of resources.”