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The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement which was signed in Cotonou in June 2000 provides for the conclusion between the ACP and the EU of WTO compatible trading arrangements, hereinafter called Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). One of the key aspects in the agreement is progressively removing barriers to trade between the two entities and enhancing cooperation in all areas relevant to trade. The primary objectives of economic and trade cooperation under Cotonou Agreement (CA) are reduction and eventual eradication of poverty; sustainable development; and to foster smooth and gradual integration of ACP economies into the world economy without compromising the set national objectives. One of the main instruments of this enhanced economic and trade cooperation is the EPAs. Article 37 of the CA lays down the principle of the EPAs, which were to be concluded between the ACP countries and the EU by 31 December 2007. Tanzania is one of the ACP countries which have already initialled a framework EPA (FEPA). The EPAs are defined by the CA as the major instrument of economic and trade co-operation. This co-operation is built around trade liberalisation. It involves opening up the markets for products from each side through reduction of tariffs and removal of non-tariff barriers to trade. The EPAs, therefore, aim at the creation of Free Trade Areas (FTAs) between regions in the ACP and the EU.
The EAC Partner States and the EU initialled a Framework on Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) on the 27th November 2007 in Kampala Uganda. The FEPA would be applied provisionally from 1st January 2008 until a full EPA is negotiated and signed by both parties. In this respect, the Parties would put in place necessary regulations and procedures, including the adoption of transitional arrangement by the EC in order to avoid any disruption in the flow of trade between the Parties. Both Parties reaffirmed their commitment to conclude a
comprehensive EPA as a tool for among others, development, promotion and consolidation of regional integration of the EAC into the global economy. This paper, therefore, sets out to analyse selected provisions in the initialled FEPA, the resulting implications to EAC economies
and potential positions that can be adopted in the ongoing EPAs negotiations.
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: Johannesburg Hotel, Dar es Salaam; Date: Friday 26 September 2008
©2008 by Charles T L T Domician. All rights reserved. Sections of this document can be quoted without explicit permission from source, only that reference to author is requested. Any views expressed in this paper are entirely the author’s, and should in no way be associated to any other institution whatsoever.