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Thursday, 09 February 2012

End of market access for EAC members?

The EU may withdraw access to its markets for countries that have not signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by 2014, a move that will affect all EAC member states as well as some other Least Developed Countries (LDCs).  According to Bilaterals, trade analysts argue that this situation is "a reflection of the fatigue within the EU".
Operations Officer at the EU Delegation in Uganda Alex Nakajjo explained during a discussion on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Kampala, Uganda, that "[t]here is less momentum in the EU side to continue with endless negotiations". In 2007, EAC members states initialled the trade agreement.  The lack of consensus on some issues, such as development cooperation where the EAC countries are asking for more funding, has resulted in the signing of the EAP being postponed. Furthermore, we recently read that the Tanzanian government asked the European Commission to review the EAP. EAC's operations in the ongoing EPA negotiations are still largely financed by the EU.

Source: Bilaterals