THE European Union and EAC senior and technical level negotiators met last week in Zanzibar - after a break of 14 months - for Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. The meetings made good progress in setting an agenda for negotiations over the coming months. The parties jointly agreed to make progress in negotiations in particular on three fronts - economic and development co-operation; rules of origin and agriculture. The next formal joint negotiation session is scheduled to take place in mid December; a number of inter-session meetings at expert level will prepare the ground.

"We are pleased that the EAC/EU EPA negotiations have recommenced." said Peter Thompson - the senior official leading the EU negotiation team. "Last week's meetings allowed us to map the areas still remaining to be negotiated. The EU views the comprehensive EPA negotiations as an opportunity to settle the outstanding matters - such as agriculture and development co-operation."

The EAC is embarking on an ambitious and successful regional integration process. The EU which has built its own prosperity on a model of regional integration is seeking to further strengthen this local integration process by maintaining a unified trade regime with EAC partner countries through a comprehensive EPA. A successful outcome of the EPA negotiations will consolidate and strengthen the EAC regional integration and promote the competitiveness of EAC products. In meetings with Peter Thompson, Tanzanian private sector organisations marked their full support for the rapid conclusion of an EPA.

Background to EPAs pdf - 26 KB [26 KB]