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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

First iEPA with African region comes to pass

Four African countries, namely Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe,  will gradually open their markets to European exports over the course of 15 years. Following long negotiations, the trade and development agreement concluded by the EU and the aforementioned African countries is set to take effect this week. “This is excellent news and I salute the hard work of negotiators and colleagues on all sides. With this trade deal we hope to accompany the development of our partners in Eastern and Southern Africa and open up better and lasting business opportunities", praises EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.
The agreement, which aims to facilitate European exports to these African markets, with exceptions for several products that are considered sensitive,  covers provisions on rules of origin, development cooperation, fisheries, trade defence instruments and dispute settlement
At the end of 2007, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe concluded an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. Four countries (Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe) went ahead and signed it in August 2009 in Mauritius. These four countries have now taken and completed steps towards ratification or notified application, so that the agreement can be applied as of today. Once all parties ratify, including all EU Member States, the Agreement will officially enter into force.

Source: European Commission