EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements - What Impact on Development?
The European Union is currently concluding negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreements with 77 developing countries in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions. The dilemma at the heart of those negotiations is how to reconcile the goal of poverty reduction and development with the substantial trade liberalisation involved. ACP counties have become marginalised in world trade over the past three decades while at the same time they have adopted outward–oriented trade policies and their economies have become increasingly open. Therefore, further trade liberalisation is unlikely to contribute much to development in any major way. Instead ACP countries should focus on domestic growth strategies. Each ACP region should identify its own priority growth sectors and adapt its own specific growth.