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Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Last obstacles for EPA signing removed

The three-year tussle between some southern African countries, including Namibia, and the European Union (EU) to finalise trade negotiations for the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) will be concluded by the end of this year.“The EU endorsed the request by countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to conclude a full EPA agreement by year-end,” EU Ambassador to Namibia Elisabeth Pape said yesterday (31st July 2010).“There was a meeting in Brussels, Belgium, this week with trade ministers to discuss the proposal for the EPA with SADC and there will be three more such meetings in due course before the signing,” Pape added.“It will be a full [and final] agreement and not an interim EPA,” she told reporters. She spoke at the start of a meeting with Prime Minister Nahas Angula and all EU ambassadors resident in Namibia at Europe House yesterday. The meeting was to discuss the status of the EPA talks, millennium development goals (MDGs), development in Namibia and the third EU-Africa summit in Libya later this year. The EPAs will allow free access of most Namibian goods to the EU and will replace the Cotonou trade regime which ended in December 2007 and the WTO (World Trade Organisation) waiver.

Source: The Namibian

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