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      3rd Round of Technical Negotiations between the EU and Five Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Countries for the Deepening of the currently implemented Economic Partnership Agreement 24 - 27 November 2020

      The 3rd round of technical negotiations between the European Union (EU) and ESA-5 (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe) on the deepening of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement was held virtually on 24-27 November 2020.

      Negotiations focused on six topics, namely Rules of Origin, Technical Barriers to Trade, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary issues, Agriculture, and Trade and Sustainable Development.

      Discussions took place in a constructive atmosphere, allowing progress in many areas. On trade facilitation, the Parties made further advancement, bringing the chapter closer to conclusion. On Rules of Origin, the Parties discussed a comparative matrix covering both the ESA and EU proposals. On Trade and Sustainable Development, the Parties had an initial exchange on their approach to the negotiations.  The EU and ESA-5 also had a productive initial exchange on investment liberalisation, trade in services, and digital trade.

      The next round has tentatively been scheduled from 13 to 16 April 2021.   The issues to be addressed in the 4th round include Economic and Development Cooperation, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Services and Investment, Rules of Origin, Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures, Technical Barriers to Trade.

      30 November 2020

      Sources : ITD

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