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Wednesday, 14 July 2010

EU sets November deadline for new trade pact

Kenya has been pushed into a tight spot after Europe set a November deadline to conclude long running negotiations with East Africa over the signing of new trade and economic partnership agreements.
The new deadline followed an unsuccessful round of talks in Dar es Salaam this week aimed at unlocking a stalemate on the signing of a framework on the Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA).Among the sticking issues ahead of the Dar es Salaam talks had been a demand by EAC states for an enhanced development budget to compensate them for revenue losses expected to result from removal of tariffs on EU imports. The EC has argued that it already disburses a lot of budgetary allocation in development support to the region and will not make additional commitment. Analysts said the new November deadline now leaves Kenya in a precarious position because its stands to be the biggest loser should the EAC fail to sign EPAs with Europe. Due of its position as a non-member of the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC), failing to sign the EPAs would force Kenya to trade with the EU on the less generous General System of Preferences (GSP) platform.

Source: Business Daily