The ACP Council of Ministers deplores the enormous pressure that has been brought to bear on the ACP States by the European Commission to initial the interim trade arrangements, contrary to the spirit of the ACP-EU partnership.
The EU foreign ministers today adopted a ruling which will allow virtually free access to their markets with effect from Jan 1, 2008 to products from 15 African, Caribbean and Pacific member countries which reached an interim trade agreement with the EU. However, twenty-seven ACP member nations, including 14 in the Caribbean, risk having an increase imposed on their customs tariffs from Jan 1.
World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev Dr Samuel Kobia has told European Commissioner Peter Mandelson that the coercive approach adopted by the EU poisons the negotiating atmosphere and that the interim agreements are not consistent with development, poverty eradication and rights to food.
Southern African Development Community (SADC) and European Union (EU) negotiators have concluded the first phase of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Namibia and South Africa were the only two southern African countries that did not sign Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) for a new trade deal with the European Union on Friday.
Being able to see though the fog of war and to think forward to a future beyond, is what sets apart great statesmen and women.
The Head of Programmes of Third World Network, Mr Tetteh Hormeku has said that the European Union tactics of demanding from individual countries to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements on their own instead of doing so as a bloc was a major affront to regional integration.
A split has erupted among big economic operators in Cameroon as to whether or not government should respect the dateline of December 31, 2007, to sign the free trade Economic Partnership Accord between the European Union, EU, and some African, Caribbean and Pacific, ACP, countries.
West Africa is sticking by its demand for an extended World Trade Organisation waiver for trade with Europe, rejecting an EU call for new interim commercial deals by December 31.
Ivory Coast’s banana and pineapple farmers are urging the government to sign a new trade deal with the European Union so they can compete once tariff free access to its market ends next month, officials said.
Africa’s largest nations are trying to block the signing of the economic partnership agreements with the European Union, Peter Mandelson, EU trade commissioner has claimed.
Strong support for extension of the negotiating deadline for a series of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between Europe and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states has come from the Joint Assembly of the European Union and the ACP countries.
The grey clouds of attrition are gathering over concluding negotiations with the European Union, which has suddenly adopted a determined mercantilist attitude at this late date. The negotiations with Cariforum (CF) are now foundering in a sea of uncertainty, reminiscent of the opening stanza of the famous Trinidadian calypso "Captain, this ship is sinking.".
A group of civil society representatives in Uganda have warned the government against signing an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union arguing that it will stifle the growth of local industries and frustrate the effort of local farmers.
A Senior Research Fellow at the Botswana Institution of Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) Dr Joel Sentsho says he hopes current negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) will yield something positive for Botswana.
Union leaders who met in Palapye for a two-day economic workshop on trade and related issues on Friday likened trade agreements that Botswana and other African countries are entering into with Europe as a new form of colonisation.
The EU has agreed to establish a framework that will ensure trade is not interrupted between January and December next year, thus giving a one-year extension before a new pact has to be reached.
The dirtiest trick is the spurious insistence on a December deadline. On top of this, the commission’s latest approach — that individual countries should sign up to EPAs without their weaker neighbours — reveals how shallow their commitment to ACP regional integration is.
On the eve of the deadline of the finalisation of the economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations, chaos reigns.