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Vol 51 No 22

Published 5th November 2010

Trade talk troubles

The EU’s obstinacy over trade concessions to Africa is encouraging frustrated governments to turn increasingly to Asia

The partners are not equal in the negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) on ‘free trade’ between the European Union and the 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, which have been going on for eight years with little result. There are a host of participants (see Box) and the EU itself rarely speaks with one voice. Africa’s trade with Asia and South America is now as important as that with the traditional European partners. At stake are not only the big political and economic issues but a host of complicated technical questions.

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