15. April 2021

What Do You Mean By Economic Partnership Agreement

Filed under: Allgemein — @ 04:32

Opponents of economic partnership agreements argue that agreements can benefit more developed countries than their less developed partners. Stronger economies may be more likely to exploit their weaker partners, leading to unequal benefits. In the view, economic partnership agreements must provide for reciprocity in order to be taken into account under World Trade Organization rules. This means that any action taken in favour of a given economy must be replicated by that economy, which in theory brings equal benefits for each country. Economic Partnership Agreements: Where are we and what are the development challenges? As reflected in the provisions of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, the parties involved in the EPA negotiations agreed that the new free trade agreements should first and foremost be development instruments. However, the prospect of an EPA has raised serious concerns about their ability to achieve development. The effects of EPAs on poverty and poverty eradication, on the regional integration processes of ACP countries and on the unity of the ACP group have been questioned, as well as the benefits of reciprocal market opening, the ability of ACP countries to negotiate and implement EPAs, and the links and coherence of agreements with the current Doha Round at the WTO. The EU is implementing seven economic partnership agreements with 32 partners, 14 of which are in Africa. The main objective of EPAs is the leverage of trade and investment for sustainable development. The content of the agenda will be expanded, with agreements covering new themes such as services and investment. How can the WTO EPA be made compatible? Reform of rules governing regional trade agreements Free trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, provide for duty-free trade of goods and services between nations and remove other barriers to trade.

Economic partnership agreements contain the same provisions as a free trade agreement, but go beyond free trade agreements. In addition to free trade, the EPAs provide for the free movement of people and include provisions relating to public procurement, international competition and cooperation, customs procedures and international dispute resolution. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are „development-oriented“ trade agreements negotiated between the countries/regions of Africa, the Caribbean and Africa (ACP) and the European Union (EU). These are reciprocal but asymmetrical trade agreements, in which the EU, as a regional bloc, grants EPA countries and/or regions unlimited access to tariffs and quota-free tariffs and in which ACP countries or regions commit to opening at least 75% of their markets to the EU. In Africa, EPAs support the implementation of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, launched in September 2018. These are key instruments of the EU`s overall strategy with Africa. The economic pillar of this strategy sees trade – in addition to regional and continental economic integration – as an important element in promoting the sustainable development of African countries. Because of the WTO`s persistent incompatibility with previous agreements, the main feature of EPAs is their reciprocity and non-discriminatory nature. These include the phasing out of all trade preferences introduced between the EU and ACP countries since 1975 and the phasing out of trade barriers between partners.

To meet the test for a non-discriminatory agreement, EPAs are open to all developing countries, thus ending the ACP group as the EU`s main development partner. EPAs with sub-Saharan Africa and other EU free trade agreements with North African countries are building blocks of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the long-term prospect of a free trade agreement between continental countries.

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