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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

EPAs: Africa should negotiate as a united bloc

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has urged Africa to negotiate trade agreements (Economic Partnership Agreements - EPAs) with the European Union (EU) as a single bloc, UNECA Regional Integration and Trade Director, Stephen Karingi, is reported to have told a Kenyan local newspaper on June, 13.
Karingi would have said that negotiating as separate entities will have a negative impact on regional integration: "If Africa wants to deepen intra-Africa trade then it has to agree on one single template that will be used for agreements with international partners," Karingi said. The declaration was made on the sidelines of the 20th African Union Conference of African Ministers of Industry, held in Kenya between 10-14 June 2013.
Karingi added that only appropriate trade agreements will permit the continent to increase its exports of value added products.
East, Southern Africa and West Africa are in the process of negotiating trade partnership with the EU. In an interview the EU Ambassador to the African Union, Gary Quince said he was optimistic that an agreement would be arrived at before October 2014.

Source: CoastWeek