10th ROUND OF EU-ESA 5- NEGOTIATIONS ON THE DEEPENING OF THE INTERIM ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT 12 to 16 December 2022

The 10th round of technical negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA-5) (namely Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe) on the deepening of the iEPA, was held in hybrid virtual mode from 12 to 16 December 2022. The EU Chief Negotiator, Mrs Ewa Synowiec, Director of DG Trade, opened the meeting and highlighted the progress achieved so far in the negotiations. She indicated that there was still much to be done to conclude the negotiations and that the focus should be on resolving the outstanding issues. As per the Roadmap, the negotiations are expected to be concluded by June 2023. There would be a need to revise the Roadmap in the future in light of the negotiations outcomes.

The technical meeting was co-chaired by Mr A. Rammos, DG Trade, EU Commission and Mr N. Boodhoo, Director, International Trade Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade for the ESA-5.

Negotiations were held in parallel sessions on 8 issues, namely: Rules of Origin (ROO), Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Agriculture, Trade in Services, Investment Liberalisation and Digital Trade (TiSIL&DT), Dispute Settlement & Institutional Provisions, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Competition and Fisheries.

Much progress was made in all areas during this round. Both Parties agreed to pursue internal discussions on the texts and meet intersessionally to advance the negotiations on some issues, namely, Competition, TBT, TiSIL&DT and Fisheries.

The next round of negotiations will be held in March 2023 in Zimbabwe. It will include all issues covered by this deepening process. Some meetings will be covered via video-conference. The third meeting of Senior Officials will also take place to take stock of the progress made so far and provide guidance on the way forward.

 

International Trade Division
December 2022

Sources : ITD

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