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EU MEPs Back New African Trade Deal

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

15 September 2016


Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have backed an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with six members of the South African Development Community (SADC), which will provide varying degrees of duty- and quota-free access to each party.

The EPA was signed in June, and approved by the European Parliament on September 14. Rapporteur Alexander Graf Lambsdorff said: "This agreement will help our African partner states to reduce poverty and can also facilitate their smooth and gradual integration into the world economy."

Under the EPA, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, and Lesotho will be granted immediate duty- and quota-free access for their exports to the EU market. South Africa will benefit from improved market access.

With the exception of Mozambique, the SADC parties will liberalize 86 percent of their trade with the EU over a 10-year period (with an exemption for agricultural and fishery products). Mozambique will liberalize 74 percent of its trade. The EU will not subsidize its agricultural exports to these countries.

The EPA will enter into force once it has been approved by the national parliaments of the six SADC signatories, and by the European Council.

TAGS: South Africa | free trade agreement (FTA) | Swaziland | trade treaty | Lesotho | Mozambique | agreements | Botswana | Namibia | trade | European Union (EU) | Europe | Africa

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