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Wednesday, 04 August 2010

Malawi Stands Firm on Conditions for Signing EPA

The Malawian government has again stood firm in the face of calls by the European Union (EU) to sign an economic partnership agreement (EPA) -- even after top-level EU officials visited the southern Africa to convince it to put pen to paper.The EU delegation, led by the European Commission’s (EC) director for development and EPAs Peter Thompson and EU Ambassador to Malawi Alexander Baum, engaged Malawi’s top trade officials at a two-day meeting on Jul 26 and 27 in the country’s commercial capital, Blantyre. But Malawi has refused to budge. The country’s trade minister, Eunice Kazembe, said at the meeting that Malawi wants to get a clear assurance on how it will benefit from the EPA. She said Malawi is currently at a disadvantage when it comes to trading in terms of an EPA because it is a land-locked and least developed country (LDC) with poor public infrastructure, low labour productivity, inadequate technological capacity and unreliable public utilities.

Source: Inter Press News Service Agency

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