Eu Madagascar Trade Agreement

In August 2009, four of these countries signed the agreement (Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe). They have been applying it on an interim basis since May 14, 2012. Comoros signed the agreement in July 2017. It ratified and began implementing it in February 2019. Trade flows between the EU and Africa remain frustrating. In 2016, about 8% of EU exports and less than 7% of EU imports came from Africa. Although the five countries in the ESA pact are among the poorest in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of goods exports from the five ESA countries to the EU has increased by almost a quarter since the initial agreement began in 2012, reaching almost 2.8 billion euros in 2018. This included a 12% increase in Zimbabwe`s exports to the EU, at a time when Zimbabwe`s exports to the rest of the world declined. The Interim EPA contains an appointment clause for the negotiation of other trade-related areas, such as rules and commitments on services and investment, sustainable development and competition (known as the “deepening process”). The five countries that already implement the agreement have said they are ready to move beyond trade in goods to a broader agreement. Negotiations on deepening the EPA, launched on 2 October 2019. The Interim EPA also includes cooperation on technical barriers to trade and standards for animal and plant health.

In a press release, the Commission said that the new agreement would hopefully cover “trade-related areas, such as services, investment, technical barriers to trade, intellectual property rights, trade and sustainable development.” With regard to the rules of origin protocol, the CEPOL committee decided in January 2020 to change the concept of original products to facilitate and facilitate exchanges between the ESA region and the EU. The amendment, which came into effect in March 2020, allows economic operators to be more flexible while reducing costs. In his State of the Union address last autumn, outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker raised the prospect of a trade pact between the EU and Africa as part of a “partnership of equals”, a vision that will be taken up by Ursula von der Leyen`s new executive. Although the Commission sees regional EPAs as an important step towards a trade agreement between the continent and the continent, complaints from a number of African countries that the proposed agreements are too focused on opening up access to their markets to European companies have virtually paralyzed the ratification process.

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