Friday, December 05, 2008

Develop full document on EPAs, Cuts-Arc urges ESA

Develop full document on EPAs, Cuts-Arc urges ESA
Written by Chiwoyu Sinyangwe
Friday, December 05, 2008 11:47:31 PM

EASTERN and Southern African (ESA) countries have been urged to critically come up with a comprehensive document on EPAs to foster development for both the European Community Bloc and ESA countries.

Commenting on today’s meeting by ESA officials and ministers to discuss the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) in Lusaka, Consumer Unity and Trust Society Africa Resource Center (Cuts-Arc) stated that there was need for a comprehensive document before concluding the full EPAs by the end of this month.

“In finalising the contentious issues identified at technical level negotiations, the state of play and the outstanding issues among other things; rules of origin, Export Taxes, Quantitative Restriction, standstill Clause and Bilateral safeguards should be looked at critically and addressed,” stated Cuts-Arc in a press release yesterday.

Cuts-Arc noted that the final text should ensure that the proposed or remaining restricted tariffs would be absolutely beneficial to the ESA countries and that the then opened percentage would not kill the already existing industries, especially the newly-established.

“If this is done, it will certainly help promote development, improve the competitiveness of enterprises and enlarge shares in the European market,” stated Cuts-Arc. “We suggest that by the time of signing the full agreement, all the concerns raised by ESA countries should be addressed so that EPAs are concluded on a win-to-win situation and not leave any country worse than they are presently.”

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