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Friday, 18 October 2013

Impact of the abolition of EU sugar quota on ACP countries

The European Union (EU) deputy director general for development co-operation Marcus Cornaro has announced on the 15th October during the 13th African Caribbean Pacific Ministerial Conference on Sugar which was held in Fiji that the current system of sugar quotas and analogous provisions for African Caribbean Pacific countries, will end on 30th September 2017.
However Cornaro assured the ACP — who contributes 60 per cent of sugar imports to the EU — that least developed countries (LDC) would continue to benefit from preferential access to the EU market, duty and quota free.
Fiji Prime Minister and Sugar Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama replied that the EU decision would have serious impact on ACP countries. He said that EU had ignored a request made in 2011 for quotas to be maintained until 2020. “We risk further unprecedented harm with the abolition of the EU sugar production quotas in 2017,” he added.
ACP countries fear that quota abolition would lead to market instability and price volatility. Global trade liberalisation has impacted sugar-producing countries worldwide, according to the chairman of the African Caribbean Pacific Ministerial Committee on Sugar, Satya Veyash Faugoo. Trade liberalization in Brazil and India, the world's biggest sugar producers, had led to a surge in world sugar production and exerted downward pressure on world sugar prices, he added.
The abolition of the current system of sugar quotas and analogous provisions marks the final stage of the reform of the sugar sector, decided in 2005 by the EU. In 2011, in Mozambique, the ACP Group, made the request to maintain sugar quotas until at least 2020, in accordance with the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

Source: Fiji Times / The Jet Newspaper