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Friday, 17 June 2016

Netherlands plays key role in EU trade agreement with Southern Africa

An Economic Partnership Agreement was signed today in Kasane, Botswana between six African countries and the European Union. The purpose of this EPA is to stimulate trade and investment between the signatories. ‘After so many years of negotiations I happy we now have an agreement that can lead to greater employment, regional integration and inclusive economic growth,’ said Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen. For years, EPA talks between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries had slowed to a standstill. For Ms Ploumen this was a reason to offer the Netherlands’ services as an ‘honest broker’ in 2013. Dutch government ministers and senior civil servants sought to bring the parties to the table and mediate discussions. ‘Participation by both businesses and civil society groups was an important part of the process,’ said Ms Ploumen. ‘By maintaining the dialogue between them, we were able to lay a solid foundation, and the result we now have provides many opportunities for all sides.’

Source: government.nl