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Friday, 25 November 2011

SADC EPA Group and EU hold EPA talks in Johannesburg

Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group and EU negotiators held technical meetings on market access, rules of origin, services and investment, development co-operation and Geographical Indications, followed by Senior Officials Meetings, from 10 to 16 November 2011 in Johannesburg.

Good progress has been made on several aspects of the text of the comprehensive EPA, but more work is needed on market access, in particular on agricultural products. Specific issues on rules of origin for fishery products were discussed with Namibia and Mozambique. Services and investment were addressed, in particular, with Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland, which have indicated their willingness to move forward with negotiations in this area.

The next technical meetings will take place in the region from 30 January to 3 February 2012. Senior Officials are scheduled to meet on the week of 27 February – 2 March.

Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland are negotiating a comprehensive regional EPA with the EU as members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) EPA Group. Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique initialled an interim EPA in 2007 and then signed it in 2009, with the exception of Namibia, still pending. South Africa also has a separate Trade and Development Co-operation Agreement (TDCA) with the EU.

Source: European Commission

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