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The controversial negotiations over trade agreements between the European Union and regional blocs in Africa are challenging governments to rethink the best way of promoting economic integration across the continent. The impact of the agreements will depend on whether governments put their efforts into consolidating existing regional communities, or allow grand plans for integration to become surrogates for action.
SAIIA will host a half day workshop on the treatment of intellectual property rights in the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 20th March 2009. Of the six African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) regions negotiating EPAs with the EU, only the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) managed to conclude a fully fledged agreement covering goods, services, intellectual property and other issues by January 2008.  All the other ACP countries only signed interim EPAs (IEPAs) with limited subject coverage and negotiations continue.
SAIIA will host a half day workshop on the treatment of intellectual property rights in the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 20th March 2009. Of the six African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) regions negotiating EPAs with the EU, only the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) managed to conclude a fully fledged agreement covering goods, services, intellectual property and other issues by January 2008.  All the other ACP countries only signed interim EPAs (IEPAs) with limited subject coverage and negotiations continue.
The negotiations for Economic Partnerships Agreements (EPAs) between African Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and the European Union (EU) were launched in 2000.These negotiations were carried out in terms of the Cotonou Agreement which seeks to replace non reciprocal trade preferences (under the Lome Agreement), which the ACP countries have been receiving from the EU. The aim was to conclude full and comprehensive agreements by the end of 2007 so as to meet the deadline for bringing the EU's preferential trade arrangements for goods with the ACP countries into conformity with the World Trade Organization's (WTO) General Agreement on Tariffs…
As published on allAfrica.comJohannesburg — South Africa, the only African state to date to have signed a "strategic partnership agreement" with the European Union, is holding a summit with the EU today in Bordeaux, France.
South Africa is the only African state to date to have signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the EU. The Summit, to be held on Friday in France, is the first Heads of State meeting since the establishment of the Partnership in May 2007. The summit will build on the discussions that have been held since November 2004 in the six EU-SA Ministerial Troika meetings. President Thabo Mbeki and Foreign Minister Dlamini-Zuma will meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and current chair of the European Council, Secretary General of the Council and High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security…
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THIS PROJECT IS NOW CLOSED.The EU-Africa Project publications appear in a number of formats. For more information on our Publications, please contact our Publications Department. SAIIA Occasional Papers SAIIA's Occasional Papers present topical, incisive analyses, offering a variety of perspectives on key policy issues in Africa and beyond. Core public policy research themes covered by SAIIA include good governance and democracy; economic policy-making; international security and peace; and new global challenges such as food security, global governance reform and the environment.
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On 1 November 2006 the EU-Africa Programme held an all-day conference that looked at, among others, the EU’s adoption of the Africa Strategy in 2005, and the decision in May 2006 to work with the AU to develop a joint EU-Africa strategy, which has energised the cooperation between the two bodies in developing strong partnerships. It also looked at the challenges a number of African countries face when it comes to creating a climate that can stimulate domestic and foreign investment into their economies. Below are some of the presentations from the 'Partnership for Growth and Development: Synergies between the…
The EU and Africa Country Report series, compiled in 2006, offers an historical overview of certain EU member states' policies towards Africa.
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Wednesday, 23 April 2008

A French Twist for Trade

Next week, Frances Pascal Lamy, the former European Union trade commissioner, will succeed Thailand's Supachai Panitchpakdi as director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). What implications does this hold for Africa's fortunes, in particular, and the Doha Round of trade liberalisation talks in general?
THE World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) biannual ministerial jamboree is just around the corner. This year it will take place in Hong Kong in December. What is it likely to deliver?Central to answering this question is the shifting fortunes of the agriculture negotiations. These are organised into three “pillars”: export competition (export subsidies); market access (tariffs); and domestic support (subsidies).
WITHOUT a satisfactory deal in agriculture the Doha Round of trade talks will unravel. But the parameters of “satisfactory” vary hugely depending on who is under the microscope.The agreement on agriculture consists of three “pillars”: domestic support (subsidies, further divided into non-trade and trade distorting); market access (tariffs and quotas); and export subsidies. Agreement on eliminating export subsidies has been obtained in principle subject to disciplines to be negotiated on US export credits and food aid (the latter will yet prove problematic). Most of the recent action has been on domestic support and market access.
AT LEAST one good thing emerged from last week’s Group of Eight summit: an agreement at the highest level that the Doha Round must be salvaged. True, French President Jacques Chirac will do his utmost to scupper this apparent consensus and the gaps between the key players are still substantial but the round has received a welcome boost.
ONCE again the US political scene will be most influential on international trade policy this year, particularly the Doha Round of world trade negotiations.The year started with reassuring noises from US and EU trade negotiators following bilateral presidential meetings. These concerned the possibilities for mutual compromise on the pivotal farm trade agenda.
It’s official: the Doha Round is on again. But with what prospects? Pascal Lamy, the WTO’s director-general, identified a “triangle” requiring resolution in order to unlock the broader round. Currently negotiators interpret this to mean that: the US must cut its domestic agricultural subsidies to a $17bn ceiling; the EU must offer better tariff and tariff quota access to its agricultural markets; and big developing countries (eg, Brazil, South Africa, India, China) must offer better tariff access to their industrial goods markets.
The past five years have seen the European Union (EU) and its former colonies in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group locking horns in potentially far-reaching trade and develo-ment negotiations. Called “Economic Partnership Agreements” (EPAs), these are ordered in a series of regional processes with the EU playing “hub” to six ACP regional “spokes”, four of which are in Africa.
FOR the past five years the EU and its former colonies in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group have locked horns in potentially far-reaching trade and development negotiations. Called economic partnership agreements (EPAs), these are ordered in a series of regional processes, with the EU playing “hub” to six ACP regional “spokes”, four of which are in Africa.
THE European Union (EU) recently injected new life into the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks between itself and six groups of African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, which seemed to be a sure disaster waiting to happen.
MANY bad things have been said about cheap Chinese imports. The effects of the red tide have been felt economy-wide, but the clearest problems have arisen in our clothing and textiles industries. Recently we heard that Beijing had promised to place voluntary restraints on its exports of some textile and apparel items to SA. We do not yet know the precise form of the deal, but we do have precedents to work with — China has reached agreements covering the same issues with the European Union (EU) and the US.
Edited by Talitha Bertelsmann-Scott and Peter DraperSAIIA: 2006ISBN: 1-919969-59-4Pages: 163Price: ZAR 80.00Based on conference proceedings (click here for more details on the conference, as well as links to external resources), this book examines the dynamics of the European Union (EU) trade policy and the implications thereof for Southern Africa. The latter's problems with both political and economic integration are not new, but the process of negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU presents yet more challenges.
Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Trade Policy Briefings

The SAIIA Trade Policy Briefing Series, published between 2003 and 2008, covers critical issues relating to South Africa's overall trade strategy. The broad focus of the series is on the political economy of the international trading system and South Africa's strategic responses to it. This includes the full spectrum of South Africa's trade strategy, from the multilateral trading system, to strategic regional and bilateral partnerships, and particular issues within the trade agenda.
The ambitious eastward expansion of the European Union (EU), emphasised by the European Commission's recommendation to begin accession negotiations with Turkey, has not assuaged fears in SA and on the continent of a potential declining European focus on Africa.
Edited by Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Dianna Games, Peter Fabricius, Ross Herbert, Tim Hughes, Richard Gibb, Greg MillsRoyal Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: 2002rISBN: 87-7964-562-3 Pages: 154Price: R80,00
Reality is a hard taskmaster. It can be the spoiler of grand ideals, but also the voice of reason. Within two weeks of each other, the European Union and the African Union held their mid-year summits: the former hoped to save some elements of its stalled constitutional process; the latter envisaged the edifice of continental government. The outcomes of both were compromises ... as is the habit of summits.
Business DayWho wins in the German election this week may not matter in the short term to Africa. How the new government tackles unemployment and a faltering economy may, however, affect Germany’s developmental and economic engagement with Africa in the medium term.
As published in Business Day WHILE there was great anticipation about the results for Africa at the Gleneagles summit, perhaps the release of Ghana and Rwanda’s African peer review reports will prove more significant. If the deficiencies highlighted are addressed, this will hold greater promise for African accession to the global economy.
Position: Senior ResearcherProgramme: Governance of Africa's Resources Programme
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