EPAs with sub-Saharan Africa and other EU free trade agreements with North African countries are building blocks of the Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the long-term prospect of a free trade agreement between continental countries. The EPAs already contain useful trade instruments for the construction of the AfCFTA. They provide a strong framework for regional trade and investment between THE EPA partners themselves and with the EU. They also strengthen the commercial capacity of EU partners. As part of this series, the publication of Investment Policy Letter No. 1 entitled By Mr. Abdulkadir Jailani briefly describes Indonesia`s experience in at least six investor-state dispute settlement (ISDR) cases. It also explains Indonesia`s decision to break its international investment (AI) agreements; To date, 17 out of 64 ias have been recruited by Indonesia. The document explains the reasons for this important policy action.
(more…) The South Centre publishes a new set of policy measures focusing on international investment agreements and the experience of developing countries. Because of the WTO`s persistent incompatibility with previous agreements, the main feature of EPAs is their reciprocity and non-discriminatory nature. These include the phasing out of all trade preferences introduced between the EU and ACP countries since 1975 and the phasing out of trade barriers between partners. To meet the test for a non-discriminatory agreement, EPAs are open to all developing countries, thus ending the ACP group as the EU`s main development partner. Origin is the “economic” nationality of goods traded in trade. It is origin that determines the duties and taxes applicable to a product when it is exported abroad. The EU-Japan EPA, recently… The creation of a reciprocal trade agreement puts the EU at the forefront of how to reconcile the ACP Group`s special status with the EU`s WTO commitments. The near-solution solution to this dilemma is an agreement that is reciprocal only in the way necessary to meet wto criteria. In reality, ACP countries will have some leeway and maintain limited protection of their key products. The extent to which trade should be liberalised under the new EPAs remains a highly controversial issue and it remains to be seen whether the WTO provisions governing regional trade agreements will be revised at the end of the Doha Round in favour of the EPA system. The Economic Partnership Agreements are a system for creating a free trade area between the European Union and the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP).
This is a response to persistent criticism that the EU`s proposed non-reciprocal and discriminatory preferential trade agreements are incompatible with WTO rules. The EPAs date back to the signing of the Cotonou Agreement. EPAs with different regions are in different playing conditions. In 2016, the EPAs were to be signed with three regional economic communities in Africa (East African Community, Economic Community of West African States and Southern African Development Community), but these faced challenges.  [updated] SMEs in Japan and the EU account for more than 50% of economic output.