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Denmark asks EAC to conclude pact with EU


Wednesday, 03 April 2013

Denmark asks EAC to conclude pact with EU

The Danish government has called in the first part of March 2013 on the East African Community (EAC) to conclude a deal with the European Union on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), saying it would be of benefit to both parties and “will help integrate the region into the global market.”
The call was made by the  Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, as part of a visit to the EAC headquarters, which included talks on a variety of subjects (besides the EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreements) such as the implementation of the Customs Union and the Common Market protocols; negotiations for the Monetary Union protocol, and potential for renewable energy in the region. In this context, she affirmed Denmark’s support for the EPAs.
He informed his guest the priorities would be moving the bloc from a customs union to a single customs territory, implementation of the common market, infrastructure development, implementation of the EAC Industrialization Policy, and multi-stakeholder involvement, including the private sector, civil society, women and youth.
EAC Secretary General, Dr Richard Sezibera said that an agreement on the single customs is expected to be reached in 2013, which would lead to a considerable reduction in barriers to trade in the region.

At the end of 2007 the Eastern African Community (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and
Uganda) agreed a region-to-region interim or "framework" EPA with the EU. The region is now negotiating a comprehensive regional EPA. However, the framework agreement has not been signed or ratified. Negotiations for the comprehensive regional EPA now focus on development co-operation, agriculture and rules of origin.
Denmark asks EAC to conclude pact with EU
The value of total trade flows between the Eastern African Community and the EU is about €4.3bn (or 0.12% of EU imports), exports to the EU being dominated by a few products such as plants, flowers, coffee, vegetables, fish and tobacco.

Source: Tralac, European Commission