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Monday, 23 November 2009

Study of free trade agreements involving developing countries/LDCs

In the context of the EPA negotiations the purpose of the (October 2009) study by the GRET and the AFD is to help fuel the French authorities’ reflection on different interpretations of article XXIV by analysing examples of existing FTAs that have not attracted complaints at the WTO. France views EPAs primarily as instruments to foster the development of ACP countries. It is therefore striving for maximum flexibility with respect to the pace of liberalisation and the extent of openness of ACP markets, wishing to make full use of the "asymmetry" permitted by the EC without overstepping the bounds of WTO rules. The aim is therefore to identify precedents and highlight examples of provisions allowing flexibility with regard to all the points at issue between the ACP regions and the EU in EPA negotiations.

Source: ACP-EU Trade