European Union and West African negotiators met in Accra, Ghana, at technical level from 15 to 18 November 2011, to discuss the way ahead in Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks. Progress was made in particular on the text of the agreement and the EPA Development Programme (PAPED), work continues on issues including the Market Access offer. Next steps include a session on rules of origin on February 6 – 10, 2012, followed by a meeting at technical and Senior Official level scheduled for February 13 –17, 2012, both of them in Brussels.
More than half of EU-WA trade (55%) is represented by oil from Nigeria. The EU mainly exports industrial goods including mechanical machinery (14%), electrical machinery (9%) and vehicles (7%) to the region. Excluding oil from Nigeria, the region's main exports to the EU are represented by cocoa (11%), iron (8%) and rubber (6%). Two West African countries, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, initialled bilateral "stepping stone (or "interim") EPAs" with the EU at the end of 2007. The interim EPA with Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) was signed on 26 November 2008.
Source: European Commission