Monday, September 29, 2008

EU and East African Community (EAC) hold EPA technical talks

Brussels, 24 September 2008

The technical negotiating teams from the EU and EAC met on 15-17 September in Bujumbura (Burundi) to make progress in the European Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations, in accordance with the Joint EAC-EC Roadmap agreed on 6 March 2008.

The meeting was held in a very good and cooperative atmosphere and net progress was recorded to all discussed issues. Technical discussions were divided among two clusters: Cluster I on Market Access - including customs and trade facilitation; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; technical barriers to trade; standstill, MFN, duties and taxes on exports, anti-dumping and countervailing measures and safeguards for infant industry, and Cluster II on Economic and Development Co-operation.

They also addressed trade and sustainable development, and the European Commission made a presentation on its approach on trade in services.

Next round at technical and senior officials' level is scheduled for the week of 10-14 November 2008 in Brussels. On that occasion, negotiators will discuss outstanding market access issues, economic and development co-operation, trade and sustainable development, trade in services and agriculture. Furthermore, it was agreed that EC make presentations on Intellectual Property Rights, Transparency in Government Procurement and Competition Policy.