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EU market still open to Tanzania’s exports

Discussion in 'Biashara, Uchumi na Ujasiriamali' started by MziziMkavu, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Sep 23, 2009
    Joined: Feb 3, 2009
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    TANZANIA’S exports to European Union (EU) market under everything but arms (EBA) scheme are going on despite the deadlock in interim economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations with East African Community (EAC) member states.

    Head of Economic Section at European Commission Delegation, Mr Stefan Schleuning said yesterday reports that Tanzania’s exports, including sugar, had been banned from entering the EU market due to deadlocked negotiations were untrue. “We initiated an interim EPA in November 2007 and expected to sign by July this year. We were not able to do so.

    We hope it will be signed very soon,” Mr Schleuning told a news conference in Dar es Salaam. He said the delays were not in line with World Trade Organisation’s grace period that expired in December 2007.

    He said there were still a few outstanding issues being addressed before the interim EPA trade pact can be signed, but dismissed claims that it included sensitive Singapore Issues which are deadlocked at WTO.

    “Under interim EPA, the issues include trade in goods, rules of origin and fisheries and not issues such as trade in services,” the EC economist noted.

    Singapore Issues which have been strongly contested by developing countries since WTO Doha meeting of 2001, include opening up trade in services, transparency in government procurement and investment guarantees.

    Mr Schleuning noted that one of the issues which the EC and EAC are currently debating under the interim EPA negotiations is the region’s most favoured nation clause in its integration protocol.

    “The issue of most favoured nation is one of the outstanding matters we are discussing with the East African Community,” he noted while stressing that no deadline is attached to the conclusion of the talks.

    “Some WTO members may challenge the continued negotiations, so there is need for the negotiations to come to an end,” said Marcos Sampablo, Programme Manager and Trade Attache at the EC Delegation.

    He warned that some WTO members, which actually fought a lengthy claim against the EC and African Caribbean and Pacific bloc’s preferential trade agreement under Lome Convention which ended in 2000, want to see the pact comply to WTO rules on nondiscrimination among members.

    The EC and ACP countries signed Cotonou Partnership Agreement to replace Lome Convention in June 2000 after WTO’s trade disputes arbitration panel ruled in a case filed by the United States to challenge preferential treatment as illegitimate. The WTO gave the two blocs up to December 2007 to end the arrangement.