EU trade-assistance programme is announced
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CTA. 2003. EU trade-assistance programme is announced. Agritrade, September 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52620
Approval of a €50 million trade-related ...
Approval of a € 50 million trade-related assistance programme for ACP countries was announced by the European Commission on July 25th 2003. The aim of the programme, which is to be implemented over a six-year period, is to create the necessary capacities in ACP countries so that they can benefit from increased trading opportunities. Commenting on the programme, the EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said 'we need to ensure that the benefits from better trading opportunities translate into growth and development'. He spoke explicitly about sending the right signals to developing countries ahead of the Cancun WTO Ministerial. Commissioner Lamy emphasised that trade assistance is a key element of the EU-ACP EPA currently being negotiated. The trade-assistance programme is identified as important in enhancing ACP participation in trade negotiations, integrating trade into development strategies, ensuring that goods are produced to the requisite international standards and promoting ACP capacity to export. There are three main components to this trade.com programme: strengthening local capacities to formulate trade policies, while encouraging the participation of all stakeholders in the process; assistance for ongoing trade negotiations by establishing a unique network of ACP trade experts (this component is known as a 'hub and spoke' programme with the secondment of senior advisors - the hub - to regional organisations, and experts in national ministries -the spokes); funding of pilot projects to address institutional and supply-side constraints with a special emphasis on enabling ACP countries to meet technical standards and sanitary and phyto-sanitary requirements, which the Commission acknowledged 'represent a major obstacle to improving their export performance'. Comment: The funds committed represent an average of less than € 660,000 per ACP country for trade related technical assistance With an implementation period of six years this represents only € 110,000 per annum per ACP country. This project gives concrete expression to the commitment made in Doha to provide ACP countries with trade-related technical assistance. While the EU highlights the importance of trade assistance to ACP countries in the context of the EPA negotiations, it should be noted that only 0.1% of allocations made to NIPs (National Indicative Programmes) in ACP countries totalling € 6,242.6 million, is deployed in support of trade-development programmes (a total of just over € 6 million).