A help desk is to be established
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CTA. 2003. A help desk is to be established. Agritrade, March 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52940
The EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and the Development Commissioner Poul...
The EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy and the Development Commissioner Poul Nielson announced on February 10th the establishment of a 'help desk' inside the Commission to assist developing country exporters to take advantage of preferential access to the EU market. The help desk is expected to become operational in the course of 2003, forming part of the European Commission's commitment to making trade work for development. The announcement of the help-desk initiative accompanied the launch of a publication setting out case reports on EU trade development projects around the world This brochure contains eleven case reports including seven from ACP countries. These include: a project for capacity building for trade negotiations in Namibia; support for the revitalisation of vanilla production in Madagascar; a black economic-empowerment project in South Africa; a trade-development project in Jamaica; an export-development programme in Zambia; support to meeting EU standards in Senegal; assistance in meeting EU hygiene standards in the fisheries sector in Cape Verde. The case reports are simply illustrative of the 117 trade-related projects supported by the EU over the period from 1996 to 2001, to which €640 million in assistance was extended. 61% of these projects were in ACP countries. Comment: While recognising the valuable contribution these individual projects can make to the development of trade in individual sectors in individual ACP countries, it needs to be borne in mind that the assistance extended to ACP states over the period from 1996 to 2001 amounts to less than 3.5% of the development assistance funds made available to ACP countries under the 8th EDF and represents only slightly over € 1 million per ACP country per annum over the period. The total amount devoted to trade development in ACP countries since 1996 is equivalent to only 80% of the income loss which ACP sugar exporters will suffer in the first two years after a 25% reduction in the EU sugar price. According to the Commission's own figures under the 9th EDF, of the NIP 'A' allocations so far programmed, only 0.1% of these funds have been allocated to trade-development projects and only 1.1% has been allocated to agricultural development projects.