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Africa, Caribbean, Pacific | Brussels, 17/01/2014

Commissioner De Gucht heads to Dakar to foster West Africa-EU Economic Partnership

Commissioner De Gucht will travel tomorrow to Dakar to discuss the remaining issues on the way to sealing an EU-West Africa Economic Partnership Agreement. His discussions with the Presidents of Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall, and of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Kadré Désiré Ouedraogo, as well as other high-level politicians, will aim to give a political boost to the process and bring the negotiations closer to success. The conclusions of the ECOWAS summit in October last year and the ongoing work on West Africa’s market access offer have opened the possibility of solving the few outstanding issues in the near future.

The partnership currently being negotiated will ensure that West Africa retains the fullest possible access to the EU market and EU remains a source of long term growth for the region. The trade agreement is set to cover trade in goods and development cooperation alike. It also paves the way to further trade-related cooperation in the future. When the agreement enters into force, it will supersede the bilateral interim agreements with Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana.

West Africa accounts for 40% of EU-ACP trade. It is the EU's most important trading partner among the seven African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions. The EU buys West African products worth more than €42 billion a year and supplies the countries of the region with products and materials that contribute to the region's economic growth and development.

For more information about

The EU trade relations with West Africa

The Economic Partnership Agreements