The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is an ambitious trade agreement. The agreement is designed to boost economic growth, promote sustainable development, and eradicate poverty for the benefit of both trading partners. This article will explore the EU OACPS agreement in detail.
The EU OACPS agreement is the successor of the Cotonou Agreement, which was put in place in 2000. The Cotonou Agreement was aimed at promoting cooperation and sustainable development between the EU and its African, Caribbean, and Pacific partners. The Cotonou Agreement expired in February 2020 and was replaced by the EU OACPS agreement.
The EU OACPS agreement is unique as it is the world`s largest free trade agreement involving African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. The agreement covers 116 countries and will enable them to trade freely with the EU. Under the agreement, the EU will lift tariffs on 98.7% of goods imported from OACPS countries, while OACPS countries will gradually reduce tariffs over the next 20 years.
The agreement also includes provisions on sustainable development, human rights, and governance. OACPS countries will be required to comply with international labor standards, and the EU will provide funding to support social and environmental initiatives in OACPS countries. Moreover, the EU OACPS agreement provides a framework for dialogue to address concerns regarding trade and other issues.
The EU OACPS agreement has been welcomed by both sides. OACPS countries will benefit from increased access to the EU market, which will boost economic growth and create jobs. The EU, on the other hand, will benefit from increased access to natural resources and new markets for European goods and services.
In conclusion, the EU OACPS agreement is a significant step towards fostering sustainable development and eliminating poverty in African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. The agreement provides new opportunities for trade and investment and will contribute to the economic growth of both sides. The EU OACPS agreement is a testament to the importance of international cooperation and the benefits of free trade.