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REGIONAL TRADE >> STATE CONSOLIDATES STAND IN FACE OF ACP-EU AGREEMENT
By: Nicodemus Odhiambo, Panafrican News Agency

"On other trade issues, the council welcomed the setting up of a sub-committee to deal with anti-dumping and substandard products, the harmonisation of partner states' anti-dumping legislation and the application of a unified enforcement of the requirements"

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

East African Community (EAC) states are to develop a common position that will govern their future ACP-EU relations under the Cotonou Agreement.

The resolution was announced over the weekend at the end of the second EAC Council of Ministers meeting held in Arusha, north Tanzania.

Ministers responsible for ACP-EU affairs from Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda are expected to meet in Nairobi in May to consolidate the common stand, the community said in a statement.

The meeting will precede the forthcoming ACP-EU meeting that will be held in Brussels later in the month.

During the weekend meeting chaired by Jakaya Kikwete, Tanzania's Foreign and International Co-operation Minister, budget estimates for the community worth 3.5 million US dollars was approved.

The one-day meeting reviewed a progress report of the High Level Task Force on the Implementation of Article 75(7) of the EAC Treaty regarding the conclusion of a Customs Union protocol.

It also reviewed the progress of the ongoing activities of regional co-operation and integration taking place since the last meeting of the Council of Ministers on 15 January as well as progress made in the implementation of the EAC treaty.

On other trade issues, the council welcomed the setting up of a sub-committee to deal with anti-dumping and substandard products, the harmonisation of partner states' anti-dumping legislation and the application of a unified enforcement of the requirements.

This follows a meeting of the ministers responsible for trade held in Nairobi end of January that discussed impediments to trade in East Africa.

The meeting, in particular, the discussed the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers being imposed by partner states on goods originating within the community and satisfying the rules of origin applicable in the treaty establishing the regional body.

The Council of Ministers also established a Lake Victoria Development Unit within the EAC Secretariat, approved the draft Partnership Agreement for the Promotion of the Sustainable Development of Lake Victoria Basin for signature between the EAC and the governments of Sweden, Norway, France, World Bank and the East African Development Bank and approved the Budget of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), which is an autonomous institution of the East African Community.

Kikwete said despite the achievements made so far, the regional organisation should focus sharply on the rapid delivery of the expectations of the people for a vibrant regional economy, stimulate employment and generate wealth, eradicate poverty and, on the whole, uplift the peoples' living standards.

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Copyright 2001 Panafrican News Agency. Distributed by AllAfrica Global


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