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Thursday, 30 May 2013

EU and Eastern and Southern Africa discuss EPA implementation

The second high-level meeting under the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) was held in Mauritius on 14 and 15 May 2013, marking a year of implementation. On the occasion, it was decided to constitute an EPA fund to support the countries’ needs and reforms linked to the implementation of the IEPA. However, until the fund will be available, ESA countries’ immediate short term needs will be accordingly addressed, the meeting heard.
Two sub-Committees - the Customs Cooperation Committee and the Joint Development Committee - took place back- to-back with the EPA Committee. It was also discussed that certain changes to the IEPA may be required following accession of Croatia to the EU.

The EPA Committee met exactly one year after Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles and Zimbabwe started implementing this agreement with the European Union.
The European Union started applying duty and quota free access for all ESA products in 2008.
The committee meetings are annual and the next meetings are due to take place in 2014.

In 2012, the agreement concluded by the EU and four Eastern and Southern African states Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zimbabwe was the first interim Economic Partnership Agreement with an African region to be applied. Negotiations for a comprehensive EPA with ESA are ongoing.

Source: European Commission

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