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Thursday, 22 September 2016

Botswana to Enjoy European Parliament - Backed Trade Deal

The European Parliament has approved an agreement granting duty-free access to the European Union market for products from Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho, and improved market access for South Africa. A press release from Delegation of the European Union to Botswana says the agreement that Members of European Parliament (MEPs) approved, on Wednesday, by 417 votes to 216, with 66 abstentions "will help our African partner states to reduce poverty and can also facilitate their smooth and gradual integration into the world economy." The release also states that the EPA also creates new regional opportunities through more flexible use of rules of origin. Botswana has already ratified the Agreement and provisional application of the Agreement is expected to start early October 2016. The deal, as per the release, has several safeguards to ensure that local people truly benefit from the cooperation and to mitigate potential negative impacts on the SADC countries. "The EU undertook not to subsidise its agricultural exports to these countries. The deal also lists trade-related areas that could benefit from EU development cooperation funding, but none is pledged at this stage," says the release.

Source: allafrica.com