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The EU angers the Namibian government

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Friday, 14 October 2011

The EU angers the Namibian government

The Namibian government is furious after a hush-hush decision by the European Union (EU) to close its duty- and quota-free markets to Namibian beef, fish and grapes by 2014 unless the country signs a controversial trade pact.

“This is not the way to go,” Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob reacted from Washington. “This is not a partnership. By setting an arbitrary deadline the EU is trying to put pressure on us to sign the economic partnership agreement,” Geingob told The Namibian.

European Commissioner (EC) Trade Commission Karel De Gucht met with Government in Windhoek on September 13, without mentioning a word about the 2014 ultimatum. Last Friday, barely two weeks after the meeting, the EC however adopted a proposal to amend the Market Access Regulation of 2007. This agreement has been governing EU imports from the 36 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries involved in negotiating economic partnership agreements (EPAs). A total of 18 ACP countries are yet to sign the agreement. Namibia provisionally initialled the interim EPA in December 2007, but has refused to sign it unless issues regarding unfair competition are resolved.

Source: namibian.co.na