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Economic partnership agreement between Eastern and Southern Africa countries on one part and the European Community and its Member States on the other part

4th Draft EPA/8th RNF/24-8-2006/

Regional Round Table on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Poverty Reduction.
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Preamble

We the ACP States of the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) region, constituted as the ESA Group and its individual member countries, on one hand, and the European Union, its Member States and the European Commission, on the other, herein referred to as "The Parties";

Having regard to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) signed on 23 June 2000, the COMESA Treaty signed: on 5 November 1993, the SADC Treaty and Protocol on Trade; the EAC Treaty, and the African Union Constitutive Act signed on….…,

Having regard to the Treaty Establishing the European Community (EC).

Having also regard to the decision of the 8th Summit of COMESA Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Khartoum, Sudan on 17th March 2003 on the establishment of the ESA configuration for the purpose of negotiation of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union;

Considering that the ESA States and the EU are agreed that their trade and economic cooperation shall aim at fostering the smooth and gradual integration of the ACP states into the world economy with due regard to their political choices, levels of development and development priorities, thereby promoting their sustainable development and contributing to poverty eradication in the ESA countries;

Reaffirming their commitment to promote and expedite the economic, cultural and social development of the ESA Countries with a view to contributing to peace and security and to promoting a stable and democratic political environment conducive for sustainable national and regional development;

Reaffirming also that the EPA shall be consistent with the objectives and principles of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement and, in particular, with the provisions of Part III, Title II thereof

Reaffirming that the EPA must serve as an instrument of development and shall promote sustained growth, increase the production and supply-side capacity of ESA countries, foster structural transformation of ESA economies and their diversification and competitiveness and lead to the development of trade, attraction of investment, technology and creation of employment in ESA countries;

Reaffirming that economic and trade cooperation shall build on regional integration initiatives of the ESA countries;

Reaffirming the need for sustained peace and stability as crucial factors for the effective implementation of regional integration towards which the EPA is expected to contribute;

Recalling the commitments of the international community on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as contained in the UN Declaration of September 2000;

Reaffirming that advancing the development agenda requires genuine international cooperation and the full implementation of agreed commitments made at Conferences of Rio, Beijing, Copenhagen, Cairo and Monterrey, as well as in the Programmes of Action in favour of LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS respectively

BEARING in mind the rights and obligations of the Members of the WTO, the importance they attach to the principles and rules governing international trade and the need for a transparent, predictable, open and fair multilateral trading system

Whereas the Parties have agreed that EPAs shall take account of the differences in economic and social development levels of ESA countries and EU Member States, and that economic and trade cooperation shall be directed at enabling the ESA States to manage the challenges of globalization and to adapt progressively to new conditions of international trade and thereby facilitate their transition to the liberalised global economy.

Reiterating the need to ensure that particular emphasis shall be placed on regional integration and the provision of special and differential treatment to all ESA Countries, maintain special treatment for least developed ESA Countries, and take due account of the vulnerability of small economies, landlocked, island, coastal, drought prone and ESA Countries emerging from conflict.

Cognizant that substantial investments are required to uplift the standards of living of ESA countries;

Recalling the commitments of the Parties within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO);

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS

INTERPRETATION/DEFINITIONS (To be completed)



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