The 1 October 2014 deadline concerns only the signature of interim Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and not of full (comprehensive) EPAs, Andris Pielbags, European Commissioner for Development said at the Joint ACP- EU Council of Ministers held in Brussels on 6-7 June.
This has been received as a sign of appeasement by the ACP group.
Trade negotiations between the European bloc and the ACP Group may soon move closer to a resolution, with plans for a political high panel to tackle the longstanding deadlock in talks over the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations, as confirmed at the last ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers meeting held in Brussels between 6-7 June.
The move follows proposals made by the ACP Heads of State and Government Summit in December 2012.
The ACP Council of Ministers , held in Brussels between 4-5 June, passed a hard hitting resolution on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), calling for measures to soften the blow of opening free trade to the much more dominant EU. These include mitigation provisions, additional resources for EPA-related costs, maximum flexibility on all outstanding contentious issues, and safeguarding the benefits of EPAs when negotiating with other third parties.
An enterprise model which puts people and not profit at the heart of business should be enhanced, the conference ‘People-centred businesses: making supply chains work for small producers’ heard.
With a trade agreement between South Africa and the European Union (EU) still being negotiated, the country could miss the boat on taking advantage of the EU’s move to reduce fishing in its waters to save dwindling fish stocks.
The Bahamas authorities want to more intensively position the country as a hub in global value chains, and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU figures prominently in this regard, Minister of Financial Services of The Bahamas, Ryan Pinder, said during the opening on May 29 of a Validation Meeting in Nassau, at which the non-state stakeholders met with national authorities to discuss the last details for national implementation plan for the Agreement.
In 2012, the EU was the global top importer of products from developing countries, the latest European Commission report monitoring the agri-trade policy, entitled "Agricultural trade in 2012: A good story to tell in a difficult year?" shows. On average between 2009 and 2011, 72% of EU imports came from developing countries (€67 billion), significantly above the 43% share in total agricultural imports of the "Big 5" taken together (Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan).
Finland on Friday May 24th gave 4 million Euros to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to support its work in enhancing regional economic integration and trade in the East African Community (EAC) over the period 2013 to 2015.
Fearing a slip of the local fair-trade sector, the French government announced on 29 April a plan to inject some €7 million into the flagging sector. The money will both beef up the distribution capacity of small producers in the developing world and retailers already present on the French market.
On 29 May, a validation meeting was convened in Nassau, The Bahamas, at which the non-state stakeholders met with national authorities to discuss the last details for national implementation plan for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European union (EU).