The world economy is suffering a deep crisis. The financial meltdown of the most powerful banks and funds push former liberalist governments as European and USA ones to invest huge amount of money to revitalize their economies with public support and nationalization’s strategies.
Caribbean: Initialling of a full EPA with Cariforum on 16 December 2007
SADC: Initialling of an interim EPA with Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique on 23 November 2007 and with Namibia on 11 December 2007
Pacific: Initialling of an interim EPA with Papua New Guinea and Fiji on 29 November 2007
West Africa: Initialling of a stepping stone EPA with Ivory Coast on 7 December 2007 and with Ghana on 13 December 2007
ESA: Initialling of an interim trade agreement with the Seychelles and Zimbabwe on 28 November 2007, with Mauritius on 4 December 2007, with Comoros and Madagascar on 11 December 2007
EAC: Initialling of an interim EPA with EAC (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi)
Central Africa: Initialling of an interim EPA with Cameroon on 17 December 2007
Trade union leaders from the G20 countries put forward a comprehensive plan to turn around the global economy, in meetings with world leaders in Washington DC on the eve of the financial crisis summit hosted by the US government on 15 November.
In a statement on the Financing for Development Process, the Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human rights, warned that "Measures to enhance the terms of trade for indebted countries, should be part and parcel of long-term debt sustainability.“
The past few months have seen one of the most significant financial crises in history. In recent weeks, world leaders have recognized the need to reform the global financial system and its institutions. More than 3400 NGOs and civil society organizations signed a joint statement to declare how they’re deeply concerned that the meetings will be carried out in a rushed and non-inclusive manner, and as a result, will neither address the comprehensive range of changes needed, nor fairly allocate their burden.
Senior European Union officials have admitted being embarrassed at how the bloc’s own procedures are delaying them from signing economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with Africa. During 2007 the European Commission repeatedly insisted that it was necessary to conclude trade accords with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries by the end of that year. The reason stated for the deadline was that the preferential access granted to exports from those countries to the EU’s markets would no longer enjoy an exemption from rules set by the World Trade Organization (WTO) after that date.
By David Cronin, IPS
The technical negotiating teams from the EU and EAC met on 15-17 September in Bujumbura (Burundi) to make progress in the European Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations, in accordance with the Joint EAC-EC Roadmap agreed on 6 March 2008.
Pacific civil society has deep concerns about new free trade deal with Europe. Pacific Trade Ministers are meeting today in Nadi, Fiji, to discuss a free trade deal that will shape trading relations with the European Union for decades to come . trade ministers from across the region will be deciding on a way forward in negotiations for a new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU.
by Wesley Morgan
A continental workshop on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between European and African countries held at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, ended with the endorsement of proposals towards an African template for EPA negotiations. The discussion of the proposals, which were drafted by the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), was one of the key agenda items at the workshop, under the theme "Reaping the benefits of the EPAs".
The Namibian trade negotiating team has pinned its hopes on the newly appointed EU Trade Commissioner, Baroness Catherine Ashton, during the next round of talks next month to convince the European Commission (EC) to adapt the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) to accommodate Namibia's concerns.
By Brigitte Weidlich
TRADE and Industry Minister Hage Geingob says southern Africa's regional integration agenda is under fire by the forces of globalisation."This includes the international rules of the World Trade Organisation, which are being shaped more by the developed world to suit their own economic agenda," Geingob said in a speech read on his behalf by Freddie Goaseb, a senior ministerial official, at a heated public dialogue organised by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the Agricultural Trade Forum yesterday. Other diversions from regional integration were the fact that several free-trade area (FTA) negotiations between the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and other partners such as the US were ongoing.
By Brigitte Weidlich
Les ministres chargés du Commerce des Etats membres de l'Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine (UEMOA) se sont réunis, le 13 novembre 2008 à Ouagadougou, pour adopter une politique commune relative aux négociations commerciales bilatérales et multilatérales. L'Union économique et monétaire ouest africaine harmonise sa politique de négociations commerciales bilatérales et multilatérales.
By Bachirou NANA
The review shows that the EU has spent almost a billion euros over this period funding capacity building, technical assistance and infrastructure projects in developing countries. The review shows that the EU has spent almost a billion euros over this period funding capacity building, technical assistance and infrastructure projects in developing countries.Trade Facilitation refers to the simplification of import, export and customs red tape, in order to cut time and costs for business
Developing countries that are negotiating with the European Union for an economic partnership agreement or a free trade agreement could consider applying instead for "GSP-Plus" status with the EU. This is because the GSP+ status provides non-reciprocal preferences by the EU to a large part of the exports of the developing country, as contrasted to the non-reciprocal nature of the EPAs or FTAs with the EU. Moreover, the GSP+ status does not require the developing country to sign on to commitments in other areas such as services, intellectual property, investment, competition policy and government procurement.
Denmark, Ireland and the Nederland wrote to the new EU Trade commissioner Baronesse Ashton asking her to help Commission “to show more flexibility towards the countries and regions concerned in the next rounds of negotiations”. “Judging by the vast majority of reactions received from the ACP over recent weeks and months – they affirm in this letter - it is clear that as yet no sufficient degree of consensus has been achieved on the disputed negotiating issues as to allow negotiations to be brought to a successful conclusion. We would therefore like to urgently appeal to the Commission to make full use of all the flexibility available to us under current WTO law and to actively display that flexibility in current negotiations”.
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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