Govt consults EU to implement EPA

GOVERNMENT is in consultation with the European Union to identify a future programme to support Zimbabwe to implement the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and trade facilitation.

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific regions engaged in regional economic integration processes. EPAs are aimed at promoting trade between countries and through the development, sustainable growth and poverty reduction to help countries integrate into the world economy and share in the opportunities offered by globalisation.

EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Phillippe Van Damme told NewsDay that the EU, together with the ministries of Industry and Commerce and Finance and Economic Development and in close consultation with the private sector, was identifying a future programme for the country.

Next year, the EU, in consultation with the private sector, will launch a €7 million fund to help government upgrade its investment policy on trade and facilitation and regional integration.

This is a culmination of a workshop held in July by government in conjunction with the EU, other development partners and the private sector.

“The valuable inputs from this workshop are to be taken into account in the final formulation of the programme. A second experts’ mission to support the government and the EU in the formulation of the programme is expected before year end,” Van Damme.
The funding is expected next year.

Since the revisions of the sanctions by the EU on Zimbabwe last November, there has been a re-engagement process that saw Zimbabwe receiving a $270 million grant for development of governance structures, health and the agriculture sectors under the National Indicative Programme.

The European Investment Bank is expected to invest in the banking sector.

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