Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 24 November 2017
An end is in sight to the world's longest-running trade dispute, involving bananas, and a deal could be in place by the end of the year, senior European and Latin American trade negotiators said. Settling the banana dispute would be a fillip for the World Trade Organisation, whose long-running Doha round to free up global commerce, like other trade negotiations, has at times been held hostage by the decades-old row. Cesar Montano Huerta, the top diplomat at the WTO mission of Ecuador, the world's biggest banana exporter, said officials were negotiating intensively and even hoped to clinch a deal in the next couple of weeks. The deal, which could be reached before the WTO's ministerial conference starting November 30, would see the European Union cutting tariffs on bananas for suppliers in Latin America and elsewhere.
"Safeguards and trade remedies in the SADC and ESA Economic Partnership Agreements" is a new working paper released by Prof. Gerhard Erasmus. This paper discusses the “Trade Defence Instruments” in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) currently being negotiated between the European Union, on the one hand, and different configurations of ACP countries on the other.
Monday, 09 November 2009
Mr Sergi Corbalán, Fair Trade Advocacy Office Coordinator, is our guest. The Fair Trade Advocacy Office speaks out for Fair Trade and trade justice with the aim to improve trading conditions for the benefit of small and marginalised producers and poor workers in developing countries. Based in Brussels, the office coordinates the advocacy activities of the four main Fair Trade Networks: Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International, World Fair Trade Organisation, Network of European Worldshops and European Fair Trade Association. Mr. Corbalán introduces the concept of fair trade and presents the work of the Bureau, particularly in Brussels with policy makers in the EU. Fair trade needs to be truly equitable, and therefore fulfil the economic, labor and environmental generators. A better dialogue is essential to improve the link between producers and consumers, who need to understand the value of such trade. The new European Parliament and the forthcoming new European Commission represents an opportunity for new proposals to encourage support fair trade as a tool for development. In this regard, the Fair Trade Advocacy Office has just published the report “Aid for Trade - Is the EU helping small producers to trade their way out of poverty?”.
The report and the Reader prepared for the Briefing on “Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries?” held on 23rd September 2009 give a summary of the subject as well as resources and references available online. All the relevant documents from the speakers, the audio and video material (in English and French) on this subject are online at: http://brusselsbriefings.net.
Friday, 06 November 2009
The 2970th General Affairs Council meeting held in Luxembourg, on 26 October 2009, took note of the Commission Recommendation concerning the conclusion of an Agreement on Economic Cooperation between the Republic of Portugal and the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe with a view to fostering macroeconomic and financial stability of São Tomé and Príncipe. Since the introduction of the euro, the Community has an exclusive competence for monetary and exchange rate matters in the euro area. In accordance with Article 111 of the Treaty, euro-area Member States may negotiate and conclude international agreements provided that the exclusive competences of the Community are preserved.

The huge challenges facing the world economy demonstrate that we live in a global economic system and there is no escape behind protectionist trade barriers.  World leaders have taken decisive steps to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure of the financial system. In recognition of the need for global action the G-20 has assumed the mantle of global economic coordination.
Wednesday, 04 November 2009
The European Commission has adopted rules to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU), which come into force in January 2010.
Tuesday, 03 November 2009
The U.S. and European Union are likely to eventually meet African cotton producers’ demands to scale back farmer subsidies, World Trade Organization Director General Pascal Lamy said. The U.S. and EU have committed in the Doha round of global trade negotiations to reducing levels of subsidies by 70 percent to 80 percent and to making deeper and faster cuts in programs for cotton, Lamy said. The only missing item is a precise figure, he said. Representatives of poor countries attending a meeting in Dar es Salaam on strategy for the Doha talks called on WTO member nations to allow duty-free and quota-free access for cotton and its byproducts. About 15 million farmers grow cotton in the sub-Sahara region of Africa, the world’s poorest continent, Lamy said. “There will be no conclusion of this round without the U.S. and EU reducing cotton trade-distorting subsidies more ambitiously and more specifically” than their pledges on other products, Lamy said. “That’s already decided. What is not decided is exactly how much.”
Monday, 02 November 2009
The 2970th Council meeting on General Affairs and External Relations held in Luxembourg on 26 October 2009 adopted a regulation opening and providing for the management of Community tariff quotas for imports of certain fishery products for the period 2010 to 2012. The regulation continues a similar regime to that established by regulation 824/2007 for the period 2007 to 2009, which expires on 31 December 2009, in order to guarantee the appropriate supply conditions for the EU's processing industry for the period 2010 to 2012.
Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Bahamas' services offer attached to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is moving "closer" to being fully accepted by the European Union. "It is not yet concluded," confirmed a source close to the ongoing negotiations last Friday. "But they say we are very close." It's good news for The Bahamas, given the offer was expected to have already been accepted by now. It follows both a spring and subsequent summer delay. Ongoing negotiations relative to finalizing a services offer are critical to The Bahamas' total EPA agreement.