Update on Economic Partnership Agreement (EU- EAC EPA)
The Interim agreement signed in 2007 was notified to WTO and the EU-EAC partners given time to conclude a full EPA. This was done via The EC Market Access Regulation (MAR) 1528 of 1st January 2008 that provides duty free quota free market access for African Caribbean and Pacific countries that have concluded an EPA ( In EAC Case, the Interim EPA was taken as such – pending finalization and ratification). The Regulation requires countries to sign, ratify and implement the Agreement within a “reasonable period of time”. At it currently stands, the MAR is a temporary, unilateral instrument of the EU to ensure that, pending the implementation of the agreement by ACP countries, there would be no trade disruption.
Prior to the 2007 agreement ( as per the initial deadline), EAC negotiated for a reciprocal trading arrangement liberalizing significant element of its trade with Europe – 82% and with the development and agreement on a sensitive least with back loaded liberalization for more than 20 years. The 82% liberal trade consists of items that were already 0% duty in the EAC CET. All products from EAC especially agricultural produce are in the sensitive list with restricted market opening. The 1400 or so protected tariff lines include meat, fish, dairy, vegetables, fruits, cereals, coffee, tea, juices, jams, canned fruit and vegetables, ham, cheese, wines and spirits, chemicals, plastics, car parts, wood, textiles and clothing and footwear.
In 2011 The European side informed the EAC side/or announced that the EPA negotiations needed to be concluded by Dec 31, 2013 in order to continue preferential market access under EPA’s otherwise the interim Market Access agreement reached after the 2007 Interim Agreement would lapse and the EAC market access to Europe would be guided by other schemes namely Everything But Arms (EBA) and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) or GSP+ (a slightly modified and kinder version of GSP).
- GSP or GSP+ would see the introduction of import duties in products originating from Kenya in various levels ranging from 4% to 16%. Kenya is not legible for GSP+.
- Some selected Import Tariffs from EU under GSP
|HS code||Product||GSP||EPA||If No EPA is signed|
|20094.100||Pineapple juice and fruit juices||11.7%||0%||11.7%|
Status of outstanding issues.
- Agriculture – export subsidies and to tie to domestic and export subsidies in the agriculture text
- Rules of origin – divergences in some articles concerning definitions, principle of asymmetry, cumulation
- Institutional arrangements, dispute settlement and final provisions – compensation, interim measures and timelines and formation of EPA consultative Committee.
- Export taxes
- MFN – This matter will be referred to the Ministers. EAC does not want to give automatic extension to EU Party on better treatment given to a major trading economy.
- New issues submitted by EU on Good governance in the tax area and consequences from customs union agreements concluded with EU – EAC would like the first issue to be discussed after mutual agreement with EU as it was unilaterally presented by EU to EAC Partner States while the latter should be included in Rendezvous clause after mutual agreement.
The European Commission proposes opening plurilateral trade negotiations on services
The European Commission last week proposed to the Council to open negotiations on a new international agreement on trade in services. To start with, 21 WTO Members will take part in the negotiations with the perspective of further participation and integration of the agreement into the WTO system.
The negotiations will cover all services sectors including information and communication technology (ICT) , logistics and transport, financial services and services for businesses) but the aim is to go beyond simply opening up markets for services. More precisely, the aim is also to develop new rules on trade in services, such as those applying to government procurement of services, licensing procedures or access to communication networks.
Together, the 21 initial countries participating in the negotiations represent more than two thirds of world trade in services. For the EU, trade in services is of strategic importance, the sector accounting for some three-quarters of EU gross domestic product (GDP) and of EU jobs. Within the EU, cross-border trade in services accounts for around 30% of EU trade, and Foreign Direct Investment in Services (to be covered by the scope of the future agreement) represents around 70% of the EU’s FDI flows and around 60% of our FDI stock.
The agreement will initially be negotiated between 21 WTO members (48 when counting EU Member States). Both during and after conclusion of the negotiations, the agreement will be open to all other WTO members who want to liberalize international trade in services. The negotiations are expected to start in spring 2013.
Training on Developing Private Sector Agro-Input Markets
The International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) has organized an International training program on Developing Private Sector Agro-Input Markets: Designing and Implementing Targeted Input Subsidies scheduled to take place in Nairobi Nairobi, Kenya on April 8-12, 2013. The program fee will be US $1,300 (for those who book by March 8, 2013) or $1,500 (for those who book after March 8, 2013)
Who Should Attend
The five-day program is designed for key stakeholders involved in designing or implementing targeted agro-input subsidy interventions. These include government officials dealing with formulating and implementing agricultural input trade policies; input suppliers contributing to the distribution and accessibility of agro-inputs; development partners involved in agro-inputs project design and/or implementation; farmers’ organizations or farmers’ representatives involved in ensuring farmer participation; and representatives of donor organizations funding agricultural development and private sector projects.
International Horticulture Goyang Korea 2013
The International Horticulture Goyang Korea 2013 is scheduled to take place from April 27 to May 12, 2013 (16 days) at Lake Park, Goyang-Si, The Republic of Korea. The show is organized by Goyang-Si, Goyang International Flower Foundation. The theme of the show this year is Goyang 600th Anniversary Fascinating Harmony between Flowers around the World.
The organizers have announced that the biggest flower exhibition in Asia will be held every year starting 2013. The event will have the newest trend displayed and demonstrated to the world, including gardening techniques, flower commodities and etc. It will definitely help to open up the gateway for international flower trades.
Those interested in participating can contact Managing Director, Horticultural Crops Development Authority on firstname.lastname@example.org
The National Committee on AGOA (NC-AGOA) Meeting
The National Committee on AGOA (NC-AGOA) held their meeting on 20th February 2012 at the Ministry of Trade Headquarters, Nairobi. The 12th AGOA Forum is scheduled to take place on from June 30th to July 1st 2013 at African Union Conference Hall, Addis Ababa Ethiopia.
The theme of this year’s forum is sustainable transformation through trade and technology.
The forum will be as follows:
- 30th -1st July – Main 12th AGOA forum
- 27th – 28th June – Senior Officials meeting
- 28 -29th June – Private and civil Society forum
During the meeting the sub-committees tabled their reports before the meeting on the progress on their outreach programme which aim to visit specific regions in the country to enlighten the producers of certain products on what AGOA is all about. KFC is in the Agricultural subcommittee where they will visit Embu on a date to be communicated. The four committees are:
- Non agricultural
- Textile and Apparel quite
- Policy and advocacy
The FloraHolland flower auction will be organizing the FloraHolland Trade Fair in Naaldwijk from Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 March 2013. The fair offers more than 500 growers of cut flowers, green and flowering indoor plants and garden plants the opportunity to showcase their wares. There are also many new products and concepts to be found at the fair. New this year is the Bedding Plants Inspiration Square, which will feature surprising store concepts for the sale of patio and balcony plants.
Those interested in attending the FloraHolland Trade Fair can inform the organizers by e-mail at email@example.com. For quick access to the fair kindly fill in the form (click here) and the badge will be printed at the registration desk.
Florimex takes over Disva
The negotiations on the completion of the bankrupt flower trade organization Ciccolella Holding International in the Netherlands have been finalized. This was stated in the Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij.
The receiver of the effects of the bankrupt Ciccolella has announced that Disva and a small part of Zurel will be taken over by Florimex and that a part of Sierex goes to Paul Jong. According to the receiver, there will be no more talks on the taking over of other parts of the company. Only 30 of the 300 employees of Ciccolella will keep their jobs.
The daughter companies of Ciccolella were Disva, Diskoflora, Sierex, Topflora and Zurel.
Source: Vakblad voor de Bloemisterij > Hortibiz