• ECOWAS CET: the imperatives of Nigeria’s fifth band
    The ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) has remained an issue of strong discourse and controversy in West Africa for many years, especially since the inception of the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. The ECOWAS CET is an instrument for tariff setting and liberalisation which ought to take care of a common market access within the ambit…
  • EPA Negotiations Update
    EU Commission refuses to renegotiate interim EPAs Any renegotiation of the EPAs initialled with ACP countries would be a disaster, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson told members of the European Parliament on April 17. Mandelson rejected recent criticism of the deals, stating he had “made clear that in the context of the negotiations for a full…
  • WTO Roundup Doha deadline shifts again as key
    The release of a key negotiating text in the Doha round of agriculture talks has been postponed until mid-May, after delegates requested more time to try to resolve technical issues relating to tropical products and preference erosion, as well as sensitive farm products. Chair Ambassador Crawford Falconer told an April 30 meeting of WTO members…
  • MFN in the Cariforum EPA is no threat to South-South trade
    Much criticism has been levied against the EPA initialled by the Caribbean and the European Commission last December. From some corners there have even been calls to renegotiate the Agreement.1 However, there are an equal number of proponents highlighting the merits of the very same EPA. Federico Alberto Cuello Camilo, Lead Negotiator on Services and…
  • EPA stocktaking: urgency for a development contest
    There has been little critical debate since December 2007 on the contents of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), on the consequences of different provisions or on how these differences arose.2 The outcome of the negotiation process of initialled interim agreements suggests that the development agenda is only determined by the cut and thrust of the…
  • Building an EPA services deal: an important tool for services development in the Comoros
    On average, between 2004 and 2006, annual exports of Comorian cash crops decreased by about 27%.3 Industrial fishing activities are conducted mainly by EU vessels under the fisheries partnership agreement signed between the EU and Comoros in late 2005. Being an island located in the Indian Ocean, at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel,…
  • Learning from success: strategic investment regulation in Botswana
    In some countries, foreign investment has led to human rights violations and environmental degradation, and has generated very little wealth for host countries. This is particularly true in the case of mining. Botswana is a notably different case, having managed to turn its diamond resources into development. For 30 years, it was the fastest-growing economy in…
  • Partnership or power play? EPAs fail the development tests
    The original aim of the trade talks between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the European Union was a good one: concluding ‘Economic Partnership Agreements’ (EPAs) that would promote “poverty reduction, sustainable development and the gradual integration of ACP countries into the world economy, thereby bolstering regional economic integration.” Somehow, what Europe put…
  • Bridging the divide: the SADC EPA
    Although the ACP has formally been engaged since 2002 in negotiating a transition from the non-reciprocal trade preferences and associated development cooperation programmes provided under Lomé Conventions and then the Cotonou Agreement, the process only began to gather considerable momentum towards the end of last year. Such movement was spurred on by the imminent expiry…
  • In Brief
  • Learning from success: strategic use of tariffs in Mauritius
    Mauritius reduced tariffs on inputs that were needed for manufacturing while simultaneously levying high tariffs on finished products, to provide some protection for infant industries. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the country maintained tariffs of up to 80% and quotas on 60% of imports, and it changed its tariffs over time. Even in 1998, Mauritius…