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Economic partnership agreements

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  1. Introduction
  2. Everything began with the Treaty of Rome
    1. Economic partnership agreement
  3. The ECOWAS region
    1. A little geography
    2. The countries
  4. The Caribbean - CARICOM
    1. A little geography
  5. The impact of EPA on ECOWAS and the Caribbean
    1. Impact on trade for ECOWAS
    2. Impact on trade for Caribbean
    3. Impact on tariff revenues
  6. State of negotiations
  7. Conclusion

The developing countries are negotiating preferential trade agreements with the European Union since always. This paper will explain the different treaties which have been put in place along the way between 1957 and now. Since it would be too long to describe the situation implying all the ACP zones negotiating the EPAs, the ECOWAS and Caribbean regions will be zoomed on regarding to the exchange profile and the impact of the EPAs on tariff revenue of the two regions. The first part of this paper is about a little history of the treaties or agreements that has been made from 1957. The second part is about the impact of the EPAs on exports and imports for the different regions. It will bring to light the new aspects of the negotiations. The third part will do the same about the possible tariff losses that could affect the ECOWAS or the Caribbean countries. Everything began with the Treaty of Rome After the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community through the Treaty of Paris to reconstruct a stable economic European Continent, the treaties of Rome were signed in 1957. The objective was to create a free trade area for the signatories countries, which were Belgium, France, Federal Republic of Germany,Italy, Luxemburg and the Netherlands. At that time, nobody speaks about free circulation of capitals, persons or services. Regarding to the external trade, the European Economic Community (EEC) set a Common External Tariff which consisted in a tariff rate on imports coming into the Community. But in the fifties, countries like France still had some colonial attachments. These partners were afraid of tariff rates. That's the reason why the colonies (and former ones) began to benefit from non-reciprocal trade agreements for a 5-year period. To help them, the Treaty of Rome provided an European Development Fund (EDF), also for a 5-year period. That EDF was the main instrument to grant them technical and financial aid. The same instrument would be improved in each treaty, agreement or convention negotiated afterwards. Economic Partnership Agreements Page 5 on 52 CANZIANI - DE RONNE - WANG November 29th 2010 After that first step toward international trade, the EEC signed other trade agreements to keep these countries protected. The first was the Yaounde Convention, signed in 1963. It was about financial, technical and trade cooperation with mostly African States. And with it, an other EDF version. In 1975, the Georgetown agreement defined the ACP groups of States, which are organized on the basis of 6 geographical regions: Central Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, Caribbean and Pacific. Many of the former colonies were integrated into these regions. The objectives of the creation of these ACP groups of States are to eradicate poverty, to promote a sustainable development, to guarantee a democratic and free environment but also a gradual economic integration into the world economy. And, last but not least, the ACP countries need to cooperate with each other, before trying to trade with the whole world. Tags: Economic partnership agreements, developing countries, Georgetown agreement, sustainable development, colonial attachments.

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