Vol.33, Issue No. 16 October 2009

CUTS international tips zambian govt

The Consumer Unit and Trust Society (CUTS) International has urged government to propose beneficial issues in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) package ahead of a Trade Ministers conference. Trade ministers from Least Developed Countries are meeting in Tanzania from 14 to 16 October, 2009, ahead of the World trade organisation Trade Ministers Conference to be held in Geneva, Switzerland from November 30 to December 2, 2009.More>>

US services meeting draws doha round players

Agriculture and manufacturing have long been at the centre of world trade talks, but will now take a back set to finance, telecommunications, and other service sectors at a meeting in Washington this week that has attracted top trade officials from the United States, European Union (EU), and India. According to Bob Vastine, President of the Coalition of Service Industries, he hopes to hear new ideas from US Trade Representative Ron Kirk and others for increasing global services trade, both inside and outside the Doha round.more>>

EU, Egypt to further liberalise agri-trade ties

The European Union’s Council of Ministers on Saturday confirmed the signing of an agreement with Egypt aimed at greater liberalisation of reciprocal trade in agricultural products, processed agricultural products and fish and fishery products. The decision amends the trade clause in the EU/Egypt Euro-Mediterranean association agreement. The trade provisions of that agreement, which have been in force since 2004, provide that both sides will gradually implement greater liberalisation of their reciprocal trade in agricultural and fishery products.more>>

‘Kenya, SA seek stronger trade ties

South Africa and Kenya plan to launch a joint trade commission by the end of the year in an effort to guide investors on opportunities and increase the volume of trade between the two countries. Once the Commission is launched at a date yet to be announced, the team will be expected to facilitate the launch of a joint chamber of commerce to be run by the private sector. The two bodies are part of the implementation of the Bilateral Trade Agreement that was signed by Kenya and SA in September 2008.More>>

Sectoral tariff reductions emerge as next obstacle in WTO talks

Demands by developed countries for sectoral tariff reductions have replaced differences over agriculture tariffs as the big issue in the Doha Round of multilateral trade talks, an Indian commerce ministry official has said. Under the so-called sectorals, negotiating countries must agree to a roadmap to cut import duties in some sectors more drastically than the general tariff reduction. Sectoral initiatives have been proposed in 14 areas, including fish and forestry products, gems, electronics, chemicals, auto parts, bicycles, and toys.More>>

NGOs Welcome EU’s Vow Not to Push Africa into EPAs

Non-governmental organisations have expressed their satisfaction at the European Commission’s declaration that it would not put “undue pressure” on African and other countries to conclude the controversial trade deals called Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). “The Commission continues to seek tailor-made solutions for all countries within a regional EPA in order to secure their duty-free, quota-free access to the EU and provide an improved framework for their economic development. It considers that it is up to the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) partners themselves to decide which type of trade-related rules they want to negotiate at this stage and to what extent.”More>>