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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

EPA with southern African countries enters into effect

Development-oriented agreement with five southern African countries ensures immediate duty- and quota-free access for their exports to the EU market. Five southern African countries - Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland - and the EU today start a new chapter in their bilateral relations with the entry into effect of their Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). As of today, the agreement will apply to trade between the EU and the five countries. Mozambique is in the process of ratifying the agreement and will join in as soon as the ratification procedure is completed. Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström said: "When I visited Botswana in June for the signing ceremony, I saw first-hand how important it is to build a stable trade partnership between Europe and Africa. Today we're taking a crucial step towards making that a reality. The agreement that we're putting in place will support sustainable economic growth and regional integration in southern Africa and is designed to help lift people out of poverty in the years to come. Africa is the emerging continent and the Economic Partnership Agreements have been designed to maximise this dynamism." Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, added:"Jobs and sustainable economic growth, that is what the EPA can help deliver. Private sector development and trade are significant drivers to lift people out of poverty and implement the new global agenda of Sustainable Development Goals. The EPA can contribute to regional economic integration, an enabling business environment and improved competitiveness of the region."

Source: investineu.com