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ACP-EU Trade

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2018
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EDITO
Saturday, 22 September 2018
The Economic Partnership Agreements between ACP countries and the European Commission must comply with Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which governs regional trade agreements concluded by WTO members. Article XXIV stipulates that ‘free trade areas’ must eliminate duties on “substantially all the trade” within a “reasonable length of time,” yet these terms remain loosely defined in the WTO. West Africa and the European Commission hold divergent views on the definition of these two terms. This article highlights the legal arguments in support of West Africa’s position.

On 30 September 2009, the Sugar Protocol will officially expire. Following a six year transition period, the Protocol - which provides a group of ACP countries with guaranteed access to the EU market for fixed quantities of sugar at preferential prices - will be replaced by a non-reciprocal duty and quota-free preferential trade system on 1 October 2015. This article examines these changes to the EU-ACP sugar trade regime. Provisions have been made to allow for a gradual adaptation to the new reality from October 2009 to October 2015. During this period, three major changes will be introduced: guaranteed prices will decrease and finally disappear, quotas will be increased, and the number of ACP countries which can benefit from preferential relations with the EU for sugar will tripple.

Monday, 21 September 2009
The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held in Brussels on 23rd September 2009 from 8h30 to 13h00 on “Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries?” (Venue: European Commission, Centre Borschette, Rue Froissart 36, Room 1D). This Briefing will discuss the effects of the financial and food crisis on enterprises in developing countries and also the opportunities this can provide to link local SMEs to global economies. Experts will also discuss investment programmes needed to support SMEs in order to promote growth and investments, upgrade and upscale SMEs to reach regional and exports markets. This session will also share concrete examples of SMEs being successful by boosting innovation and technology, processing, value-addition, infrastructure upgrading.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
A little-known European Union regulation coming into force January next year could have a major impact on the health of fishing industries in developing countries, according to a new study. The EU is the single largest consumer of fish in the world, accounting for around 40 per cent of global imports. Such is the continent's appetite for aquatic life, the cumulative net fish exports from developing countries now exceed earnings from coffee, bananas and rubber. But near-unfettered access to the European market for developing countries is set to end with the adoption of new legislation to help eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing practices and ensure the sustainability of worldwide fish stocks. The IUU Regulation - to be implemented from January 2010 - puts in place strict conditions on countries that want to maintain access to the lucrative European market.
A new International Fairtrade Towns website has been launched on July 14 by the Fairtrade Foundation with partners across Europe. The new website is aimed at connecting nearly 700 Fairtrade towns in 18 countries, by combining information about the history of Fairtrade Towns internationally, a Google map, the latest news and events, as well as downloadable resources and tools. An interactive social networking section is to be present, where campaigners can share ideas through forums and discussion groups. It's currently available in eight languages and is part of a three-year European Union funded Fairtrade Towns in Europe project launched in 2007.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) has voiced concerns over the European Union’s ‘inflexibility’ in the ongoing negotiations with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) over the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Speaking in Abuja at the weekend after a two day sensitisation meeting of stakeholders, NANTS President Ken Ukaoha said that over the past eight years of negotiations, the EU have refused to take into consideration the peculiar situation of African nations as the least developed countries of the world.
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
The European Union has pressurised Ghana to sign an economic partnership agreement (EPA) despite civil society concerns being raised about the detrimental effects further trade liberalisation will have on development in the West African country. IPS’s Francis Kokutse fired some questions at Dick Naezer, head of the macro-economic trade section of the European Union delegation in Ghana, to understand why he directed this call at Ghana’s government.
Two of Mauritius' leading sugar producers listed on the Indian Ocean island's benchmark SEMDEX index announced they may merge within five months. Mauritius' sugar sector, a centuries-old pillar of the palm-fringed island's economy, has suffered as the European Union has cut its guaranteed price offered to exporters from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) bloc.
Monday, 14 September 2009
The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held in Brussels on 23rd September 2009 from 8h30 to 13h00 on “Upgrading to compete in a globalised world: What opportunities and challenges for SMEs in agriculture in ACP countries?” (Venue: European Commission, Centre Borschette, Rue Froissart 36, Room 1D). This Briefing will discuss the effects of the financial and food crisis on enterprises in developing countries and also the opportunities this can provide to link local SMEs to global economies. Experts will also discuss investment programmes needed to support SMEs in order to promote growth and investments, upgrade and upscale SMEs to reach regional and exports markets. This session will also share concrete examples of SMEs being successful by boosting innovation and technology, processing, value-addition, infrastructure upgrading.

The 2959th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Brussels on 7 September 2009 took note of the request made by Poland, supported by Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Austria, Slovakia and Finland, inviting the Commission to take concrete measures aimed at stabilising the cereals market. Poland suggested a number of new possible intervention instruments and the rapid use of existing ones under EC legislation.