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Tuesday, 01 September 2009

EU and Eastern-Southern Africa further partnership

The European Union has today signed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with countries from the Eastern and Southern Africa regional grouping (ESA). These countries are Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. Zambia and Comoros have indicated they will sign at a later date. The agreement was signed in Grand Baie, Mauritius, by EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton and Swedish deputy trade minister Gunnar Wieslander on behalf of the EU. The deal offers the ESA countries that signed the agreement immediate and full access to EU markets (with transition periods for rice and sugar), together with improved rules of origin. ESA countries will open their markets gradually over the next 15 years, with a number of important exceptions reflecting their development needs.
Source: European Commission
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