Arusha — A Ministerial dedicated session on the outstanding issues under the EAC-EU-EPA negotiations concluded in Arusha, Tanzania Thursday 22 August 2013.
Uganda's Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, Minister for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives chaired the dedicated session, which was attended by Hon. Victoire Ndikumana, Burundi's Minister for Trade, Industry, Posts and Tourism; Hon. Phyllis J. Kandie, Kenya's Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, Commerce and Tourism; Hon. Kanimba François, Rwanda's Minister of Trade and Industry; Hon. Dr. Abdallah O. Kigoda (MP), Minister of Industry and Trade of the United Republic of Tanzania; and their respective senior technical officials.
Addressing the Ministerial session, the Director General for Customs and Trade at the East African Community Secretariat, Mr Peter N. Kiguta (MBS) urged the Ministers to critically analyse the EAC positions under the EPA Negotiations with a view to strengthen them so as to ensure that "we have an EPA that best serves the interests of the EAC region".
The dedicated session deliberated and agreed on EAC positions on the following outstanding issues:
Most Favoured Nation clause;
Agriculture (domestic support and export subsidies);
some provisions of the Protocol on Rules of Origin as well as some product specific rules;
some provisions on Institutional Arrangements, Dispute Settlement and Final Provisions; and
new issues submitted by the EU (i.e, good governance in the tax area and consequences from customs union agreements concluded with EU).
The dedicated session enabled the Ministers to thoroughly prepare for the Joint EAC-EU Ministerial negotiations proposed for end of September 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Ministers agreed to undertake national consultations on the way diplomatic engagement with the EU Member States shall be carried out and report during the Ministerial session of the Council of Ministers' meeting scheduled for 30th August 2013 in Arusha, Tanzania.