In December 11st Haiti signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and joins the fourteen Caribbean States that signed the EPA in October 2008. This strengthen Haiti’s ties both with the EU, and with other Caribbean countries.
L’une des plus grandes opérations d’aide de l’histoire risque fort de ressembler à celle de l’après tsunami de 2004 sauf si un modèle de reconstruction radicalement différent est adopté. Haïti a été partiellement détruit suite à un violent séisme de magnitude 7. Chacun y va de sa larme et les médias, en nous abreuvant d’images apocalyptiques, relayent les annonces d’aides financières que les généreux Etats vont apporter.
No Pacific EPA meetings were held in December. The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat advertised for consultants to assist in the formulation of EPA negotiating positions on customs-related provisions, goods market access offers and on the other remaining outstanding issues in the negotiations with the EU.
The scheduled 21 December ECOWAS summit, initially postponed to 18 January due to the illness of the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua, has been rescheduled for the 16th of February, in Abuja, Nigeria.
Darlan F. Martí, Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), recently published an ebook "Updating the EPAs", a collection of seventeen essays authored by recognised trade experts and senior policy-makers, was indeed the desire to assess the EPAs in light of the concurrent food, climatic, economic and financial crises, in order to ascertain whether or not these agreements were likely to constitute relevant instruments of trade and development policies over the years. The response which resulted from the expert opinions and analyses constitute a mix of positive and negative elements.
Le séminaire organisé à Dakar par la Communauté économique des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (CEDEAO), du 5 au 9 octobre dernier, sur la qualité a donné lieu à une scène ubuesque. Mme Gisèle Lopes d’Almeida, présidente d’Interface, le réseau des professionnels de l’agroalimentaire de la région, a failli être interdite de conférence de presse.
Eastern and Southern African EPA Ministers met on 7 December and agreed to propose to their heads of government that negotiations continue towards a regional EPA agreement with the EU. The ministers stressed that development and regional integration need to be at the core of the agreement.
Although the region has concluded a deal on market access to the European Union, there remain fundamental disagreements on trade in services. The EastAfrican has learnt that the matter will be left out of any deals signed this year as countries want it handled at a bilateral level.
The world's oldest customs union may suffer damage after the European Union (EU) put pressure on three Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) members to sign the controvertial interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has said in an interview.
It is imperative for the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to move towards aligning its internal activities faster before conclusion of a final Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU), says Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry Jabulile Mashwama.
The ACP-EU Joint Parliament Assembly, meeting in Luanda from 30 November-3 December, adopted resolutions on global governance, reform of international institutions and on the impact of the financial crisis on ACP states. It also adopted the "Luanda Declaration" on the Second Revision of the ACP-EU Partnership Agreement. ACP-EU Co-President Louis Michel called for additional official development aid to help developing countries combat the food crisis and climate change.
ACP Trade Ministers and the ACP Council met in November and agreed a communiqué and declaration, building on the African Ministers of Trade meeting held at the end of October, setting out their common position on all major issues to be discussed at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference on 29 November-2 December. The ACP called for the multilateral trading system to support all countries in their development efforts and expressed concerns over the lack of progress in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. They also called for negotiations to build on past agreements and urged partners to make firm commitments to provide adequate financial and technical assistance and capacity building programmes, including aid for trade.
One of the long-standing projects that emanated from the last AU summit in 2009 was the establishment of an African Investment Bank. It is set to become a reality soon with South Africa, Nigeria, Libya, Algeria and Egypt each putting US$300 million towards its establishment.
At the end of 2008 two countries, Nigeria and Gabon, applied to the EU for entry into the EU GSP+ scheme of trade preferences, but were refused - a case of double standards. For Nigeria and Gabon GSP+ would mean a significant improvement on their current trade relation with the EU, and as such an interesting (at least temporary) alternative for the EPA.
The European Union’s trade commissioner designate, Karel De Gucht, pledged to take an "open and flexible approach" to the EPA negotiations, and said concluding the negotiations with the ACP countries should be a top priority for the EU. The remarks came during a three-hour confirmation hearing before Members of the European Parliament.
Les croisés africains de la lutte contre les APE viennent de recevoir l’appui de la commission des affaires européennes du parlement français, qui estime que c’est un échec et préconise des « Accords de Partenariat de Développement Economique et Commercial ».
The EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting on 17 November 2009 adopted conclusions on the European Communities development and external assistance policies; on an operational framework on aid effectiveness; and on policy coherence for development. This opens a variety of opportunities for advancing a joint European agenda for technical cooperation reform and calls for an action plan for policy coherence for development to be established next year.
A study published by the German Development Institute assesses the effectiveness of the EU’s effort to link trade and development policy in the context of the EPAs with the ACP countries.
Partnership for Change project has two thematic focus connected to the heart of development policies and the struggle against poverty. MDGs and EPAs, central themes of the project, were indeed both created as development policies: the first one, with the aim of committing governments in the South and in the North on punctual development objectives to be reached by 2015, the second one, proposing economic agreements of free trade as an access point to development for many ACP countries.
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