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Economic Partnerships Blantyre - Malawi, 26-27 July

EU-ESA EPA information seminar

This page describes past events and is no longer updated.

From 26 to 27 July 2010 the European Union (EU) and the Government of Malawi jointly hosted an information seminar on the role of Malawi in the EU and Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations.

The event aimed to provide a platform for exchange of views on benefits and challenges of EPAs. It brought together representatives of the private sector, the government, non-state actors and the media with a view to help stakeholders better understand EPAs and their potential impact on the national and regional economic climate and business realities.

The seminar included presentations from high-level representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Commission, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, and other national, regional and international experts on the subject.

The seminar addressed the state of play of the EPA file in the ESA region and in Malawi in particular, including results achieved so far but also outstanding issues such as export taxes, MFN etc. The Jamaican Ambassador in Brussels Marcia Gilbert Roberts brought the experience of the Caribbean region to the table: the CARIFORUM is the only ACP region which signed a full and comprehensive regional EPA so far, and is now in the early stages of implementation. Other issues tackled by speakers and panellists included development co-operation and Aid for Trade, opportunities for business, sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues, investment and services, communications, and the Export Helpdesk, an EU online database for exporters from developing countries.

The EU will be considering follow-up actions to this seminar, so as to keep working with key stakeholders in the region and ensure they can make the most of the EU-ESA EPA.