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Namibia agrees to sign EPA agreement

Staff writer |
Namibia has agreed to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union (EU) after a deal between the Southern African Development Community negotiating group and the European Commission was concluded.

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The government, led by then Minister of Trade and Industry Hage Geingob, had for two years argued that if Namibia signed the agreement in its previous form, the country was going to get a raw deal.

The announcement of the new developments by Minister of Trade and Industry Calle Schlettwein in Parliament this week, was well received by Meatco as well as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources who would have felt the brunt if the agreement had not been reached. Most of the country’s meat, fish and grapes are exported to the EU.

Namibia had been reluctant to sign the interim EPA based on an assessment that the EU demands would amount to an unjustifiable encroachment into the country’s development policy and its obligations to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Although the deadline for negotiations is 1 October 2014, the EU requested the negotiating process to be speeded up, fearing that this might disrupt trade between Namibia and the EU. Some of the SADC states had already signed the agreement.

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