ESA5-EU Interim EPA EPA COMMITTEE 9th Meeting 12 October 2022, by video-conference

The ninth meeting of the EPA Committee under the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) between the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) states - Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe (ESA5) and the EU was held on 12 October 2022 by video-conference and co-chaired by Ambassador Beryl Samson for ESA-5 and Cristina Miranda-Gozalvez for the EU.

The Parties reaffirmed the importance of ensuring a smooth implementation of the Agreement to achieve its intended objectives of enhancing trade and supporting sustainable development goals.

The Parties took note of the status of implementation of tariff reduction and modification of the tariff nomenclature respectively for all Parties involved and agreed to continue exchanging information thereon.

To fully benefit from the iEPA, the Parties recognize the need for appropriate implementation strategies to improve access and diversify exports to EU individual member states and support to be provided by the EU. The Parties discussed substantially the development of a common methodology aimed at finalizing a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for the iEPA. Both Parties agreed that this is an important step to define a joint understanding of the progress and remaining challenges so as to be able to address those adequately. Both Parties agreed that a dedicated discussion on this matter will take place on 21 October to finalise the M&E framework as well as its implementation modalities.

The Parties discussed the implications of the dock dues on ESA exports. The EU agreed to facilitate a meeting with the representatives of France to discuss this matter with a view to finding a solution.

Both parties discussed further issues related to Green Deal and sustainable development and took note of the concerns expressed by ESA.

The Parties took note of the substantial progress made so far in the negotiations on the deepening of the iEPA and reiterated their engagement to work intensively in view of the next round of negotiations, scheduled for December 2022, to advance sufficiently to allow reaching the objective of concluding this negotiation process by Q2 2023.

The tenth meeting of the EPA Committee will take place in the ESA region in 2023 at a date to be jointly decided.

The meeting took place in a very cordial atmosphere.

Sources : ITD

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