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Tanzania and the other East African Community (EAC) partner States have been negotiating with the European Community (EC) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as provided for in the Cotonou Agreement (Title II, Chapter 2, Article 37). The EAC-EC EPA negotiations which were launched on 14 November 2007 proceeded rapidly, hence enabling the EAC-EC Parties to initial the Framework Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) on 27 November 2007 in Kampala Uganda. The initialed FEPA provides for a continuation of negotiations with the intention of concluding a full/comprehensive EPA.
Initially, the EPA negotiations were to be concluded by 31 December 2007 in order to conform to the waiver granted under the WTO that paved the way for the European Union (EU) to offer ACP countries non-reciprocal preferential market access for goods entering the EU market. The FEPA was meant to avoid trade disruption by enabling both EAC LDCs (Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda) and non-LDC (Kenya) to continue accessing the EU market as from 1 January 2008 on the basis of Duty Free Quota Free (DFQF) market access in response to the expiration of the WTO waiver on 31 December 2007.
It was thus agreed that the full EPA could be attained by 31 July 2009; but unfortunately this was not met as trade experts from both Parties were deadlocked on some areas. Despite this shortcoming, the Parties have since negotiated and covered some ground on a number of issues.
It should however be emphasized that the initialed FEPA is not a sustainable agreement; thus the Parties need to sign the interim EPA to make the FEPA sustainable. Therefore, the Parties are currently exploring a possibility of signing the FEPA while they continue with the
negotiations meant for attaining the comprehensive EPA in future.
This paper was prepared and presented for Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) in the workshop titled “Tanzania National Workshop on Interim EPA positions: The Questions of Development Aspects, Agriculture, Services and Market Access”; Venue: Millennium Tower, Dar es Salaam;
Date: 17 to 19 November 2009
©2009 by Domician and Masomhe. All rights reserved. Sections of this document can be quoted without explicit permission from source, only that reference to authors is requested. Any views expressed in this paper are entirely the authors’, and should in no way be associated to any other institution(s) whatsoever.