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Economic Partnership Agreements Between Sub-Saharan Africa and the EU: A Development Perspective


  • Lawrence E. Hinkle
  • Maurice Schiff


This paper draws on Hinkle and Schiff (2003). It analyses the planned Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from a development perspective. It does not take a position on whether SSA should enter into EPAs with the EU. Rather, it starts from the notion that the process of forming EPAs is unlikely to be reversed and examines the conditions that will maximise SSA's benefits from the EPAs. If this notion is correct, then the analysis presented in the paper applies. On the other hand, Pascal Lamy, the EU Trade Commissioner, made a proposal at the May 2004 G-90 summit in Dakar that might lead to a change in the EPA process. He proposed that the G-90, a group consisting of ACP and non-ACP LDC countries, should not have to make concessions at the WTO Doha Round of multilateral trade negotiations, i.e., he proposed a 'free round' for the G-90. This proposal opens the door to the possibility that the same might apply to the ACP countries in the EU-ACP negotiations and that the EPA process might be reversed. The paper considers the key issues raised by the planned EPAs, their relationship to the WTO's Doha Round and the EU's Everything-but-Arms Initiative, the changes needed to make the EPAs internally consistent, the domestic reforms in SSA that would need to accompany trade liberalisation in both goods and services, and the potential effects of the EPAs on regional integration in SSA. The EPAs will pose a number of policy challenges for SSA countries, including: restructuring of indirect tax systems, reduction of MFN tariffs, liberalisation of service imports on an MFN basis and related regulatory reforms in the services sector, and liberalisation of trade in both goods and services within the regional trading blocs in SSA. The paper also finds that the EPAs provide an opportunity to accelerate regional and global trade integration in SSA. To realise the potential development benefits of the planned EPAs, two steps are essential. First, the EU must, as it has stated, truly treat the EPAs as instruments of development, subordinating its commercial interests in the agreements to the development needs of SSA. Second, the SSA countries need to implement a number of EPA-related trade policy reforms. However, the latter is far from certain, given the lack of reform momentum in SSA. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence E. Hinkle & Maurice Schiff, 2004. "Economic Partnership Agreements Between Sub-Saharan Africa and the EU: A Development Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(9), pages 1321-1333, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:27:y:2004:i:9:p:1321-1333

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Marc Philip, 2006. "Le recours aux MEGC pour l’analyse de l’accord de partenariat économique entre l’union européenne et les pays ACP : une revue de la littérature," CAE Working Papers 92, Aix-Marseille Université, CERGAM.
    2. Yongzheng Yang & Sanjeev Gupta, 2005. "Regional Trade Arrangements in Africa; Past Performance and the Way Forward," IMF Working Papers 05/36, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Ole Boysen & Alan Matthews, 2017. "Will Economic Partnership Agreements Increase Poverty? The Case of Uganda," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 353-382, May.
    4. Osman, Rehab Osman Mohamed, 2012. "The EU Economic Partnership Agreements with Southern Africa: a computable general equilibrium analysis," Economics PhD Theses 0412, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    5. Axel Borrmann & Matthias Busse & Manuel De La Rocha, 2007. "Consequences of Economic Partnership Agreements between East and Southern African Countries and the EU for Inter- and Intra-regional Integration," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2), pages 233-253.
    6. Walkenhorst, Peter & Cattaneo, Olivier, 2006. "Trade, Diversification and Growth in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 23735, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Padamja Khandelwal, 2004. "Comesa and Sadc; Prospects and Challenges for Regional Trade Integration," IMF Working Papers 04/227, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Guyslain K. Ngeleza & Andrew Muhammad, 2015. "Preferential Trade Agreements Between the Monetary Community of Central Africa and the European Union: Stumbling or Building Blocks? A General Equilibrium Approach," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(2), pages 251-272, March.
    9. Walkenhorst, Peter, 2006. "Uganda’s Access to Global and Regional Markets," MPRA Paper 23575, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Bert Jacobs, 2011. "A Dragon and a Dove? A Comparative Overview of Chinese and European Trade Relations with Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 40(4), pages 17-60.
    11. Walkenhorst, Peter, 2005. "Trade Policy Developments in Tanzania: The Challenge of Global and Regional Integration," MPRA Paper 23399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Azmeh, Shamel, 2015. "Transient global value chains and preferential trade agreements: rules of origin in US trade agreements with Jordan and Egypt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64601, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    13. World Bank, 2007. "Nigeria - Competitiveness and Growth : Country Economic Memorandum, Volume 2. Main Report," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7824, The World Bank.
    14. Lucy Corkin, 2011. "Redefining Foreign Policy Impulses toward Africa: The Roles of the MFA, the MOFCOM and China Exim Bank," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 40(4), pages 61-90.
    15. Resnick, Danielle, 2004. "Smallholder African agriculture," DSGD discussion papers 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    16. World Bank, 2007. "The Gambia - From Entrepot to Exporter and Eco-tourism : Diagnostic Trade Integration Study for the Integrated Framework for Trade-related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7682, The World Bank.

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