Voices from the South Centre
Monday, September 10, 2007
Legal and Development Implications of Inclusion of Services in the EPAs
South Centre has issued a Policy Brief " WHY INCLUSION OF SERVICES IN THE EPAs IS
PROBLEMATIC" which analyses legal and development implications for Eastern and Southern African (ESA) countries in negotiating trade in services under the EPAs. The outcome of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations will change a decades-old reciprocal trading regime between the European Union and African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) countries.
It recommends that ESA countries should move really slowly and cautiously on services liberalization with the EU. There is absolute merit in strengthening cooperation, along the lines of what the Lomé Conventions used to contain so that real capacity can be built to provide domestically, to provide for export, to regulate, and so that it is mutually advantageous. As such, ESA countries may want to consider strengthening cooperation as an option to a trade Agreement.
The Policy Brief concludes that ESA countries should focus on developing domestic capacity to provide universal access to basic services, develop export capacity in niche sectors, design and improve regulatory capacity and mainstream intra-regional trade.