European Parliament Committee on International Trade Delegation in Zambia on 22 March. (21/03/2012)

A delegation of eight Members of International Trade Committee (INTA) of the European Parliament will be visiting Zambia on 22 March. The delegation, led by the Chairman of the Committee, Prof Vital MOREIRA, also visited Kenya on 20-21 March.

The main purposes of this mission are: to monitor the progress in the negotiations towards Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and to identify the concerns of the countries involved, the chances of success in concluding the negotiations and the expected impact of the agreements.

In Lusaka, the Members of the European Parliament will meet with Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry and Chair of the ESA Group Hon. Robert SICHINGA, with Mr. Charles KAKOMA, chairman of the Committee on Economic Affairs of the National Assembly of Zambia and Mr. Sindiso NGWENYA, Secretary-General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Chairman of the ESA Group of Countries Ministerial Committee. The delegation will also meet representatives from business and trade organisations.

Economic Partnership Agreements

After considerable delays in the negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements in the past years, the negotiations which ESA were relaunched in 2011 with a shared ambition to conclude these negotiations this year.

INTA monitors the negotiations and regularly discusses the progress in the negotiations with the EU negotiator (European Commission). At the end of the process, when the EPA negotiations will have been successfully concluded, the INTA Committee that will assess the agreement on behalf of the European Parliament. The consent of the European Parliament will be needed for the agreement to be ratified on European side.

Zambia and Kenya

INTA members decided to visit Zambia and Kenya because these countries currently hold the respective chair of ESA and EAC.