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Monday, 02 April 2012

Zambia: Definitely not "a horse and rider" EPA

According to the recent statements of the Zambian Trade and Commerce Minister Robert Sichinga, the country will not be pressured into signing unfavourable EPAs with the EU.  In a meeting with the EU delegation in Lusaka, Minister Sichinga noted that he considered the provisions provided by EPAs as being based on  “a horse and a rider” relationship.
Mr. Sichinga stressed that the EU is an important trading partner and that they would remain committed to the EPA process since it is their belief “that a development-friendly EPA can contribute to the sustainable development of our economies”. However, he also remarked that EU is pushing through deals that don’t take into account unequal power relations between rich and poor countries.
Likewise, the Zambian minister said that these negotiations might result in fragmentation rather than regional integration,  as some countries have already signed bilateral agreements outside of the en bloc EPAs as they fear losing market access.

Source: Southern Times