Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
M T W T F S S
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31



SELECT_TAGS :
















Twitter

Follow the CTA Brussels Daily

 

twitter logo

 

facebook logo cta

EDITO
Monday, 18 December 2017

The new strategy for 2010 to 2015 has been designed by the stakeholders in the national coffee sector. The government has also been involved, through the Ministries of Commerce, Agriculture, Rural Development, Scientific Research and Innovation, the Economy and Town and Country Planning. All of these eminent representatives were also aided by Cameroon’s development partners including the All ACP Agricultural Commodities Programme, the International Trade Centre, the European Commission, the World Bank, the United Nations Fund for Agriculture, the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development, etc. The recently released document obtained by Le Messager contains a dispassionate analysis of the unenviable situation in the Cameroonian coffee sector. The experts who wrote it observe a general downwards trend in Cameroonian coffee production and exports over the past thirty years.

This study provides a political and legal review of how international labour standards have been introduced and how those standards have evolved in the international trade arena. The author analyses new trends and negotiations on trade and labour standards at the multilateral, regional, and bilateral levels. The aim of the study is to offer developing country governments and other relevant stakeholders broad guidelines on how to address these issues in international negotiations with a focus on Regional trade agreements (RTAs), taking into account the experience of countries such as Chile that have already negotiated several of those agreements. Many of these agreements contain some similar baseline clauses including objectives, scope, and minimum international standards. There is also a certain level of divergence in those agreements, especially in relation to specific commitments, arrangements for compliance and dispute resolution clauses. In some cases, countries have adopted co-operation provisions and programmes for improving their capacity for inspection and control.
Director General Pascal Lamy applauded yesterday the successful efforts of Latin American banana producing nations, the United States and the European Union to end their long running dispute over trade in bananas. The banana issue is one of the longest running disputes in the post-WWII multilateral trading system. It has generated considerable debate and litigation among the widest range of the entire WTO membership. And it has resulted in multiple legal rulings by dispute panels, the Appellate Body and special arbitrators. All this attention has focussed on the treatment the EU gives to the import of bananas from the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in preference to bananas from Latin America. Yesterday, the final, comprehensive agreement has been announced by the EU.
This issue paper, titled “Legal and Systemic Contested issues in Economic Partnership Agreements and WTO Rules: Which Way Now?”, and written by Dr Cosmas Milton Obote O’chieng, provides a legal analysis of some systemic issues regarding the relationship between the WTO and EPAs.  Some of these issues include the following: The application of the Most Favourable Nation Clause, Article XXIV of GATT and its relationship with EPAs; The effects of the “standstill” clause on bound or applied tariff rates applied to ACP countries by WTO members; The political and legal effects of the “Non-Execution Clause” in EPAs; The articulation of the dispute settlement mechanisms of EPAs and their interactions with the WTO one. The paper concludes with a series of legal recommendations that could be useful to all stakeholders in understanding the stakes involved in the EPA negotiations.
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Member States voted yesterday in favour of a Commission proposal to divide up an additional €300 million in aid for EU dairy farmers. The money will be distributed according to production within quota in the 2008/09 milk production season (April 2008-March 2009). The money will have to be allocated to individual farmers who are severely affected by the low dairy prices of this summer and who encounter liquidity problems. Member States will have to communicate before the end of February the objective criteria they will use to allocate the money to individual farmers.

On November 30, the Action team received the Monitoring report on the initial 5 months. The report mainly contains judgments on the design and the quality of the Logical Framework Matrix-logframe presented in the project proposal. It also expresses some ex-ante judgments on the likelihood of the project impact and sustainability on the basis of assessment on the size and the previous experiences of the Partner Organizations, without considering the experience and the professional competence of the experts. They point out that action issues have been listed very well; but there is some confusion between the policy and cultural issues the action is tackling (i.e. the problems upon which the action wants to have a positive impact in front of which the action objectives were conceived) and the issues emerging from project implementation (i.e. the managerial challenges that the manager is facing with the team).

Tuesday, 15 December 2009
The December issue is discussing the new regulations on organic farming entered into force in 2009. The organic farming sector is subject to ever growing interest both among European consumers who opt to buy organic products as an alternative to products from conventional production and among farmers in developing countries who seize the opportunity to export their organic produce to the EU market to respond to this demand. This issue alerts on the new import provisions that exporters in third countries need to apply when trading organic products within the EU. It also reports on the end of transitional quotas for sugar and rice under the EU's 'Everything But Arms' (EBA) initiative of the Generalised System of Preferences. The EBA regime has been providing all least developed countries with duty free access to the EU market for all their exports, except for arms and ammunitions, and with limited transitional quotas for sugar and rice. These have been progressively expanded annually since 2001.

Taxes are central for the functioning of a state and for the provision of public goods. Many developing countries cannot finance their policies through taxes and rely on external revenues such as development assistance. Generally, developing countries have a lower tax-to-GDP ratio than developed countries. According to several studies examining the tax-to-GDP ratio in Sub Saharan Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia: In Sub Saharan Africa, the tax-to-GDP ratio increased from less than 15% in 1980 to more than 18% in 2005. This increase is almost entirely due to natural resource taxes (income from production sharing, royalties or corporate income tax on oil and mining companies). In the same 25 years non-resource related revenue rose by less than 1 % of GDP (Keen/Mansour). There are considerable differences among African countries such as the Central African Republic and Guinea where tax revenue is under 10% of GDP, and South Africa were it reaches 25% or even Namibia where it is 30.1% (Volkerink). In Latin America and the Caribbean the tax-to-GDP ratio has increased from 12 % in 1990 to 18.5% in 2006. The ratio is as low as 10% in Haiti and reaches more than 34% in Brazil. Mexico is the only country where the ratio decreased (from 12.6% to 11%) (Martner).

On December 11, Haiti signed the Economic Partnership Agreement and joins the fourteen Caribbean States that signed the EPA in October 2008. This will strengthen Haiti's ties both with the EU, and with other Caribbean countries. The Cariforum-EU EPA is North-South trade and development agreement of new generation. It aims to promote sustainable development, boost trade, investment and innovation, help build a regional market among Caribbean countries, and tackle poverty in the region. Previous preferential trade arrangements with the EU had failed to boost Caribbean countries' development. Other developing countries had also criticised those arrangements as discriminating against them, and had challenged them at the World Trade Organisation. So the EU and the Cariforum group of Caribbean countries negotiated a new trade and development agreement, the EPA, between 2004 and 2007. The EPA was signed in October 2008, by 14 out of fifteen Cariforum member states. The only Least Developed Country in the Western hemisphere, Haiti has recently been grappling with a range of pressing problems.
On the 7th of December, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development invited all Europeans to cast their vote in the final stage of the EU organic logo competition. The website http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/logo/index.htm hosts the online vote where the three final logos will be displayed until 31 January. The new logo aims to enhance consumer protection and promote organic farming. Unlike the current logo, the winning entry will be obligatory for all pre-packaged organic products that derive from the 27 Member States and meet the labelling standards.