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Economic Partnership Agreements

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the likely impact of economic partnership agreements signed between the European Union and southern African countries on the economies of African, Caribbean and Pacific states. [126258]

The Department has not yet made an assessment of the likely impact of economic partnership agreements (EPAs) signed between the European Union (EU) and southern African countries on the economies of ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) states.Negotiations of EPAs began in September 2002. As part of these negotiations, each ACP state is required to decide with which regional organisation it wishes to enter into an EPA with the EU; many ACP states are still in the process of exploring the options available to them. Any assessment of the likely impact of EPAs signed between the EU and southern African countries on the economies of ACP states will need to consider the resulting geographical configurations.