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Inside Southern African Trade (INSAT)

Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub

Issue 8, March 2007

SARPN acknowledges the Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub as the source of this document:
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This is an important year for the ongoing negotiations of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU.

EPA negotiations are intended to generate trade and development cooperation agreements between the EU and groups of ACP countries that would be WTO compatible in terms of trade in goods, and that would result in: the integration of countries into the world economy; sustainable development; and deeper and more effective regional integration.

However, the current EPA processes have been criticized by some observers as being contrary to these aims, and the EU has been accused of bullying tactics and having a mercantilist agenda that would result in the conclusion of a standard free trade agreement between unequal partners.

Our ‘INSAT Focus’ article suggests that the new framework for SADC-EU EPA negotiations does not contain any guarantees for success. On the contrary, it highlights divisions within the SADC bloc and differences between SADC and the EU on the scope of the negotiations. It also raises questions related to the basis for the market access negotiations.

We talk to the chief negotiators on either side, Banny Molosiwa and Karl Falkenberg, to shed some light on what will happen in the next ten months to ensure that a development-friendly EPA is signed between SADC and the EU by the end of 2007.

In our ‘Guest Perspective’, Christopher Stevens looks at the possible implications of the re-imposition of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) tariffs on non-LDC SADC countries if an EPA is not concluded in time.

We hope that you will enjoy this issue of INSAT and invite you to share your opinions and suggestions with us by writing to .

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