While bilateral free trade agreements, as a means to further the market-opening and rule-making agenda, have been globally picking up steam, there have also been parallel efforts to usher in a plethora of regional trade agreements and economic unions.
The Egyptian government expects to begin negotiations for free trade agreements with the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as with African economic blocs such as COMESA, SADEC and EALA, and to sign a deal with MERCOSUR in Latin America.
Most of the clauses in the agreement — to be signed this month in Cairo — have been finalised, apart from the preamble and the rules of origin.
If one takes a look at the real big winners in this project, it will soon be realized that multinational corporations mostly from Europe, North America and to some extent Asia which have set up base in Cairo, Johannesburg and Nairobi will be real winners.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Africa Commissioner, Günter Nooke issued harsh criticism of the EU’s joint free trade deal with multiple African countries, claiming the EPA counteracts Europe’s development policy efforts.
The Tripartite Free Trade Area (FTA) by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will be launched in mid-December, 2014.
Three of Africa’s regional economic communities have agreed to launch the long-awaited Tripartite Free Trade Area at a joint summit of leaders from the regional groups scheduled for December in Egypt, APA learnt here Monday.
The issues that had remained in contention until last week are critical for Kenya and EAC’s future development, but we capitulated.
Negotiators from the EU and the East African Community finalised today a new comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between both regions.
The EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement was signed in Brussels on Tuesday but must still be ratified by the five members of the East African Community – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi – and by the European Parliament.
Political blockages in the trade talks between the East African Community and the EU continue.
"The EAC and the EU will set a new date to finalize the trade talks," an EU official told a news conference in Nairobi on Friday.
East African states are yet to strike a trade deal on the Economic Partnership Agreement after the European Union said the proposals made by the council of ministers were inadequate.
ECDPM has released a ‘Frequently asked questions’ guide to the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) between the EU and Africa.
Flower farms in Naivasha are now warning of mass relocation to either Ethiopia or Tanzania in the wake of the collapse of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks.
The East African Community’s last-minute efforts to have negotiations of the contentious Economic Partnership Agreement concluded before today’s deadline were dealt a huge blow after European Union delegates failed to turn up for a decisive meeting in Nairobi last week.
Kenya’s push for an expeditious agreement between the East African Community and the European Commission over the long dragging trade negotiations suffered a major blow as nothing had been signed by yesterday.
An EAC delegation is in Brussels for three days of negotiations with the EU over the finalisation of the draft EPA deal that was agreed on by Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi on Saturday.
East Africa is under pressure to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement with Europe by the end of September. NTV reports.