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Friday, 26 July 2013

SADC, EU trade negotiations: close to conclusion

The final round of negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between EU and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) might take place in September 2013, The European Union (EU) Trade Commissioner, Karel de Gucht announced in at the conclusion of his visit to Botswana on 15 July.
The visit was part of a tour in four African countries: Kenya (part of the Eastern African Community, EAC) and Namibia, Botswana, South Africa (members of the Southern African Development Community, SADC) in order to discuss the state of the negotiations on the comprehensive EPAs.
On the occasion he ensured the audience that the EU is strongly committed to conclude the agreement, APA reports. He also claimed that this would be the most generous agreement of the kind that the EU has ever agreed with.
However there are still standing issues, De Gucht mentioned, and this is why he advises for a longer round  of negotiations to be scheduled in September.
The SADC member states have been negotiating reciprocal EPAs with the EU since 2004, a process delayed by numerous political and technical glitches over the years.

Source: APA