Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation:
- 3-5 December 2013: The 1st African Continental Briefing on “Envisioning the future of African agriculture and the renewed role of farmer’s organizations” (Yaoundé, Cameroun)
- 05 December: European Parliament committee meetings
- 09-12 December: European Parliament plenary session
Council of the EU:
- 02-03 December: Meeting of Competitiveness Council
- 03 December: Meeting of Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) (Trade) on the margin of WTO Ministerial Conference (Bali, Indonesia)
- 02 December: Special meeting of the Bureau of the Committee of Ambassadors
- 03 December: Committee of Ambassadors
- 09 December: Ministerial Consultations on commodities (Cotton, Bananas and Sugar)
- 09 December: Bureau of the ACP Council of Ministers
- 09 December: Ministerial Committee on Development Finance Cooperation
- 10 December: Official opening of the 98th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers
- 10-11 December: Plenary Session of the ACP Council of Ministers
World Trade Organization:
- 3-6 December: 9th WTO Ministerial Conference (Bali, Indonesia)
The South African Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (PPCAFF) said on Friday 30 November that the ban of the European Union (EU) on imports of South African citrus products is a "major concern" and "poses a threat" to the country's socio-economic development and that of the region. The ban followed reports about citrus "black spot" that was found in citrus fruit cargos from South Africa to European this year.
Dominica is pursuing efforts to get the European Union (EU) to remove the visa requirements for Dominican nationals travelling to Europe, saying that it is important to stimulate trade under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) signed with Europe five years ago.
Junior Foreign Affairs Minister Alvin Bernard said Dominica has joined several countries in making the request. “Apparently the consideration of the request from Dominica is still for consideration…but it has been delayed because of the countries from the Middle Eastern area included on the list”.
A draft law that could bar non-european firms from bidding for public procurement contracts in the European Union unless their home countries allow EU firms reciprocal access to their public procurement markets was endorsed by the International Trade Committee on Thursday. The proposed “international public procurement instrument” should strengthen the EU’s hand in trade talks and help EU firms wishing to bid for third country contracts. It aims to create some leverage in bilateral trade negotiations on the opening up of public procurement markets.
The European Commission (EC) has released the October 2013 edition of ”Comodity price data”, a price dashboard which provides a summary of commodity price data for the most representative agricultural products and consumer food prices, at European Union (EU) and world level for the month of August. Although not all the products are comparable at both EU and world level, this document is intended to give an indication on the most recent price developments. Databases with the EU market prices for the most representative products are also available.
CARIFORUM and European Union (EU) trade officials held a one-day meeting in Grenada on Thursday 21 November, at which they reaffirmed the two regions' commitment to their close trade and development partnership. The two sides discussed progress made so far in putting the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) into practice. The EPA aims to promote trade and investment, underpin regional integration, and foster sustainable development. The EPA is now in its fifth year of implementation, and this was the third annual meeting of a body which it establishes, the CARIFORUM-EU Trade and Development Committee (TDC).
Citrus Australia is urging the European Union to heed the findings of an international expert panel and continue accepting South African citrus. The call comes amid fears the EU will block South African citrus due to concern over the disease, citrus black spot, and disrupt long-established incident-free trade.
Fair Trade activists are exhorting the EU to set up regulations which will prevent low pay and poor working conditions for African and Indian workers. Campaigners are objecting to an economic model in which a supermarket earns just over £1 from a bag of cashews sold for £2.50 while the factory worker in these developing countries makes 3p per day. Remarks made by EU Commissioner for internal markets, Michael Barnier, suggest that a case may be taken up against the industry.
The European Union could finalise a trade agreement with West Africa's 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) within the next three months, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said on 14th November. Negotiations over an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to promote free market access broke down a year and a half ago amid disagreement over the speed at which West African nations were willing to open their markets and lift tariff barriers.
South Africa last week cancelled its bilateral investment treaty with Germany, one of its most important trading partners, amid protests by German businesses here. The move comes as part of South Africa’s stated intention to reshape its investment policy framework, ending bilateral treaties with individual countries. The German treaty is the fourth one with a member of the European Union (EU) to be cancelled, but it is by far the biggest and most significant.