Three more countries sign Joint Undertaking to foster enabling trade environment amongst ACP states
During a special ceremony at the ACP House last week, the Ambassador of Swaziland H. E. Mr. Joel M. Nhleko (pictured left) signed the agreement, which allows the implementation of cumulation provisions amongst countries that have signed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the EU.
The Joint Undertaking allows cumulation provisions between EPA signatory states and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) of the EU, as well as with other non-signatory ACP countries benefitting from duty-free quota-free access into the EU.
It is expected that the Signing the agreement will establish an enabling environment for trade amongst all the ACP EPA signatory parties.
Swaziland joins Lesotho and Mauritius (which signed with reservations) as the most recent signatories to the agreement, bringing the total number of countries to nine.
The Joint Undertaking will also empower the various customs administrations of the ACP EPA signatory parties and OCTs to interact with one another and put in place systems that would enable them to import materials from one another, do further processing and export the final product to the EU under preferential conditions.
The document may serve as a template for similar agreements to be negotiated on a bilateral basis by ACP countries/regions with certain non-ACP countries.
(Photos from top: Ambassador of Swaziland H. E. Mr. Joel M. Nhleko signing the Joint Undertaking; earlier this year, Mauritius Ambassador H.E. Mr Haymandoyal Dillum signed the agreement in May 2016, with reservations, on behalf of his country)
– ACP Press