EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 17 JANUARY

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS - 17 JANUARY
17 Jan 2020

EUROPEAN COMMISSION DAILY NEWS – 17 JANUARY

Brussels, Brussels Daily

EU and five Eastern and Southern African countries kick off negotiations to deepen trade relations

The EU concludes today the first round of negotiations to deepen the existing Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with five Eastern and Southern African partners (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe). Both sides are aiming for an ambitious and modern agreement including the whole spectrum of trade topics and building upon the existing agreements covering market access for goods and development cooperation. During the first round of negotiations, the partners have organised future work and had substantive initial text-based discussions on five chapters: rules of origin, customs and trade facilitation, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary standards and agriculture. The second round is foreseen to take place before the summerbreak, in Brussels. As part of its transparency commitment, a report summarising the progress made during the round, as well as the texts tabled by the EU, will be published on the European Commissions’ website in the near future. The deepening of the existing EPA was launched at a political level on 2 October 2019 in Mauritius.The process comes in the context of the current EU-Africa Strategy and supports the implementation of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs launched in September 2018. Through deepening of the current trade relations, the EU also seeks to support the regional integration within the continent and preparations for making the African Continental Free Trade Area operational. More information about the EU trade relations with the Eastern Southern African partners is available online. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: +32 229 51383)

Commission reports on latest negotiating rounds with Indonesia and New Zealand

As part of its transparency commitment, the Commission today published the reports summarising the progress made during the latest negotiating rounds for the EU-Indonesia and EU-New Zealand trade agreements. Both sets of talks were held in a constructive atmosphere. The ninth round of negotiations for an EU-Indonesia trade agreement took place from 2 to 6 December in Brussels, Belgium. Negotiators made good progress across the board on all chapters, particularly on the chapters on government procurement, rules of origin, customs and trade facilitation, rules related to trade in food, animal and plant products, technical barriers to trade, as well as questions related to sustainable development. The next round of negotiations is planned in March 2020 in Indonesia. The sixth round of negotiations for an EU-New Zealand trade agreement took place in Wellington, New Zealand from 10 to 13 December 2019. The discussions allowed for gaps to be bridged between both sides’ positions in a number of areas. The discussions covered various chapters of the future Agreement with a focus on Geographical Indications, services, Investment Liberalisation and Capital Movements, Energy and Raw Materials, Small and Medium Enterprises and Dispute Settlement and legal issues. The next round is planned for spring in Brussels. The reports published today provide an overview of the progress in each area. More information about EU trade negotiations can be found here. More information about EU trade negotiations can be found here. (For more information: Daniel Rosario – Tel.: + 32 229 56185; Kinga Malinowska – Tel.: +32 229 51383)

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