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EU-ACP individual country ties make African unity vulnerable
20
Apr '09
The European Union and member countries of the African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) are going ahead and signing individual and one-to-one economic cooperation agreements, which could prove detrimental to their own interests, experts have warned.

The ACP countries enjoyed a unilateral trade preference with the countries of the EU, but the agreement expired in December 2007 and till date both the blocs have not been able to thrash out a comprehensive agreement within the mandate of WTO rules.

This has led to signing interim trade agreements and at the same time working on drafting and working on the new trade deal. Only 20 member countries, particularly from Africa have signed the interim agreement while others have opposed the same.

Experts are worried on this split, since they believe that it will break the unity of the ACP countries and weaken them further. They say that individual country deals with the EU is akin to a deal between a politically and strong bloc and a weak, vulnerable and poor country on the other side.

This they conclude by saying could also jeopardize the on-going negotiations for hammering out a new economic cooperation agreement between the EU and the ACP, leading to wider fallout among the poor African countries for whom the deal was meant in the first place.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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