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Friday, 12 February 2010

East Africa: EPA deal - impasse on services persists

Although the region has concluded a deal on market access to the European Union, there remain fundamental disagreements on trade in services. The EastAfrican has learnt that the matter will be left out of any deals signed this year as countries want it handled at a bilateral level. Economic Partnership Agreement, deal with rules under which nationals of one country can sell their expertise in the services sector of another World Trade Organisation member country. Uganda's Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry permanent secretary Julius Onen told The EastAfrican that Kampala will sign the agreement for market access and development aid this year, but not a comprehensive agreement that includes trade in services, as well as other sticky issues like investment rules and government procurement, until the Europeans "accept the EPA is part of an older agreement (Cotonou) which recognised that the developing world is not equal to the EU," he said.

Source: AllAfrica