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ACP-EU Trade

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2018
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Saturday, 17 November 2018
The European Commission has today signed a multi-million euro agreement that aims to help Nigeria tackle development challenges in the areas of governance, trade and peace. The agreement, signed in Brussels by European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Karel De Gucht, and by Nigeria's Executive Secretary of the National Planning Commission, Professor Sylvester Monye, is an ambitious step forward in cooperation and is a direct result of the Nigeria-EU political dialogue. It reinforces cooperation in three strategic areas: peace and security; governance and human rights; trade and regional integration with €677 million for the period 2009 – 2013 financed through the European Development Fund.
Liberalising global agricultural trade without any regulation would threaten global food security as private investment funds would buy huge amounts of land in developing countries and produce for profit rather than to feed the poor, Jacques Carles, founder of Momagri, a French think-tank on agriculture. If you free international trade without any regulation, only international investment funds and speculators will profit, not the poor", said Carles, managing director of Momagri (Mouvement pour une organisation mondiale de l'agriculture). Private investment funds are already rushing to buy agricultural land all over the globe, he warned, adding that "we are heading towards a very dangerous scenario" in which these funds and speculators own huge amounts of land and produce according to world demand in order to make a profit.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Lady Ashton, Brussels' new foreign policy chief, was accused of abandoning Europe's commitment to tackle poverty, as African and Caribbean governments reacted angrily to a proposed deal to end the 16-year "banana wars". Ashton, who is currently European trade commissioner, took a leading role in negotiating an agreement with Latin American governments, expected to be signed this week, which would bring to an end one of the world's longest-running trade disputes. But in offering to slash import taxes on bananas from Latin America, from €176 a tonne to €114 over the next seven years, Europe has infuriated countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific–many of them former colonies–which have traditionally had special access to Europe's markets.
Jamaica's Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda says the Government will be embarking on a marketing campaign in Europe on behalf of the small business sector in January. The Jamaica Marketing Company, based in London, England, which he explained had been "lying dormant" for many years, will be driving the campaign. He said the marketing assistance was essential for small businesses to compete overseas. "You need money, you can't individually collect enough money to go out and market your own products by yourself. What we need to do is to trod the pavements of Europe and North America. We need to create a virtual army of Jamaican representatives out there selling Jamaican products", Samuda emphasised.
Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit hard: first by the food crisis, more recently by the financial and economic crises, and at the same time grappling with the challenges of adapting to climate change. In this fast evolving context, African countries continue to negotiate the challenging EPAs with the European Union. However, the presence of negotiating deadlocks or a sense of fatigue as well as the lack of a real appetite for these agreements among many ACP negotiators, raise legitimate questions regarding their structure and content, as well as their ability to constitute instruments to leverage economic growth.
The 2976th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 20 November 2009 adopted a regulation establishing a modernised system for inspection, monitoring, control, surveillance and enforcement of the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) throughout the market chain, "from net to plate". The new regulation includes the provisions on Control and monitoring, sanctions, inspection powers, cooperation among member states and coordinating authority. The new regulation will replace the existing legal framework laid down in Council regulation No 2847/93 as from 1.1.2010 for most of its provisions and as from 1.1.2011 for certain provisions requiring implementing measures.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
The Lisbon Treaty, signed by the 27 Member States in 2007, is set to provide the European Union with modern institutions optimizing working methods to tackle today's challenges in a changing global world. The Lisbon Treaty is going to change the old relationship between EU and ACP countries, rationalizing the EU development architecture. Revisiting the Common Commercial Policy, the Lisbon Treaty changes EU trade policy, which action includes “the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade”.
'Embedded’ trade analyst helps establish a network of services –the first of its kind in continental Africa. For food producers all over the world, the French gourmet chef is perhaps the most discerning of critics. With one nod of approval deciding the fate of many a high end supplier, it is nonetheless still seen as a prize worth aspiring towards. This is certainly what Uganda is working towards with vanilla. For according to research by the Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry, there is a niche market in countries such as France and the USA.
The governments of Mozambique, Norway and Iceland have pledged to renew their cooperation in fisheries for the period 2009-2013, seeking to improve and make sustainable the exploitation of Mozambican fisheries resources. The programme of fisheries assistance for the next four years will be co-financed by Norway and Iceland to the tune of 27.7 million US dollars in grants, under new bilateral agreements and a tripartite memorandum of understanding. The funds will be used to strengthen the capacity and skills of the fisheries administration in the areas of research, fisheries management, aquaculture, artisanal fishing, quality control and training. It will also finance measures to improve the living conditions of fishing communities, and small and medium sized business activity.
In the context of the EPA negotiations the purpose of the (October 2009) study by the GRET and the AFD is to help fuel the French authorities’ reflection on different interpretations of article XXIV by analysing examples of existing FTAs that have not attracted complaints at the WTO. France views EPAs primarily as instruments to foster the development of ACP countries. It is therefore striving for maximum flexibility with respect to the pace of liberalisation and the extent of openness of ACP markets, wishing to make full use of the "asymmetry" permitted by the EC without overstepping the bounds of WTO rules. The aim is therefore to identify precedents and highlight examples of provisions allowing flexibility with regard to all the points at issue between the ACP regions and the EU in EPA negotiations.