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Monday, 14 April 2014

EU agree to work on EPAs issues

Africa and the European Union (EU) agreed at the end of the EU-Africa summit to continue working on outstanding Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the aim to advance intra-African trade, Africa's regional integration and the planned Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA).
Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob has refused to sign the interim EPA agreement and wish to get more favourable terms. "In this regard, both parties should continue negotiations on EPAs by exploiting all the possibilities to reach a satisfactory conclusion of development oriented and World Trade Organisation compatible EPAs that promote African integration, economic transformation and industrialisation, and ensure the prosperity of nations to the benefit of both continents," a communique released at the end of the Brussels summit said.
The statement said it is important that Africa and Europe develop globally competitive industries that can succeed in today's global markets and contribute to sustainable development. "EPAs should be structured to ensure that our trade expands and that it supports growth of intra-regional trade in Africa," the communique said.
It added, " It is time for a fundamental shift from aid to trade and investment as agents of growth, jobs and poverty."
The EU and Africa agreed to deepen their cooperation in the field of maritime policy, especially blue growth, protection of the marine environment and biodiversity, maritime transport and maritime safety and security.
In regard of climate change, the EU and Africa said they were determined to adopt in 2015 a fair, equitable and legally binding Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and guided by its principles.
The EU also supported the African Union decision to fast track the establishment of a CFTA in Africa and offered to share its experience of building the single market to provide capacity support to this initiative.
Source: AllAfrica