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Vol 48 No 21

Published 19th October 2007

Trading places

There is no agreement on revising Europe’s trade deal with Africa, so an agreement may be imposed

African, Caribbean and Pacific states are trying to negotiate new cooperation agreements by the end of the year with the European Union, but the lengthy negotiations are going badly and few expect agreements by the 31 December deadline. The lack of a deal could throw African-EU commerce into chaos. The EU wants the trade arrangements signed up to in Cotonou, Benin, in 2000 to be replaced by new 'Economic Partnership Agreements'. But both politicians and business groups in Africa strongly oppose the EPAs, arguing that they give the Europeans too much access to African markets.

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