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Scholar advises ACP countries

Fiji Times, Suva

Scholar advises ACP countries

4 May 2007

African, Caribbean and Pacific countries need to press for increased protocol tonnage to safeguard itself, a scholar advised.

Stephen Thornhill, of the University of York in England, spoke on Sugar Protocol Study and the benefits of securing a protocol.

He said it required giving the EU Commission assurances that imports would not flood EU market via temporary ceiling on Everything But Arms (EBA) and graduated increase in protocol.

EBA is trade between the EU and less developed countries where they can export everything quota and tax-free but not arms.

Mr Thornhill said less developed countries would benefit the most from increased protocol tonnage to show pro-development changes.

He said one of the benefits included the specific quantities and transferability of sugar export for each country.

It also included exemption from the safeguard mechanism and indefinite period of duration.

Mr Thornhill said the protocol had a legal strength and duty-free access to the EU market.

He said one of the benefits was the EU guaranteed prices above world levels.

He told delegates the objective of his study was to recommend how best to safeguard the benefits.