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Briefing 58; Cécile Billaux:- Africa-EU trade relations in agriculture and agrifood sector


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The Brussels Development Briefing n. 58 on “Africa’s Agriculture Trade in a changing environment” organised by CTA, the European Commission/EuropeAid, the ACP Secretariat, IFPRI, Concord and BMZ/GIZ was held on Wednesday 23 October 2019 (9h00-13h00) at Hotel Sofitel Brussels Europe, Place Jourdan 1, 1040 Brussels.

The briefing brought various perspectives and experiences around the new trends and opportunities in intra-Africa trade in the context of free trade agreements and regional integration. It also showed Africa trade within the broader global trade picture and with the EU as one of the main trade partners.

Experts presented trends and prospects of regional trade in Africa in the light of new policy developments as well as Africa’s recent performance in different markets. It also featured successes and innovative models in regional trade across regions in Africa and lessons learned for upscaling and expanding regional trade.

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Briefing 58; Cécile Billaux:- Africa-EU trade relations in agriculture and agrifood sector

  1. 1. Africa-EU trade relations in agriculture / agrifood Cécile BILLAUX European Commission – DG Trade Brussels Briefing, 23 October 2019
  2. 2. The EU is still Africa’s first aid, trade and investment partner
  3. 3. The Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs Defines 4 key strands: 3 4 Task Forces (including the Task Force on Rural Africa):
  4. 4. Far-reaching access to the EU market
  5. 5. FTA Implementation Report 2019
  6. 6. EPA benefits for agriculture Market access EPAs give better market access to EU and ACP exporters alike, based on asymmetrical liberalization. Safeguard mechanisms EPAs provide adequate safeguard mechanisms, allowing ACP countries to take measures when their markets are distorted by EU exports. Supporting programmes EPAs are supported by various other EU policies contributing to ACP countries’ development, such as the External Investment Plan, Aid for Trade,… Platforms for dialogue EPAs provide platforms for dialogue through the implementation committees. As such, they promote information exchange, knowledge transfer and cooperation between the EU and ACP countries Regional integration EPAs have flexible rules of origin and allow for cumulation. As a result, they promote regional value chain development and encourage intra-ACP trade.
  7. 7. EPA and Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural exports Agriculture still dominates exports… •Agriculture accounts for 27% of EPA partners exports (20% SSA average) •52% increase in EPA partner’s agricultural exports to the EU over the past 10 years (46% SSA average) •Main products: cocoa (raw and processed), fish, tobacco, grapes, bananas, oranges ..and local value addition is increasing… •Local processing is advancing, for example: •Cocoa paste, butter and powder •Prepared and preserved fruits and vegetables and nuts •Spirits and wine •Processed and preserved fish, especially tuna …even though some traditional commodities are struggling •Bananas from Cameroon: strong competition from Latin America •Sugar from Mauritius, Eswatini, Zimbabwe: slow recuperation from sugar quota shock + low world market prices but EU world imports are higher than EU exports
  8. 8. Some successes (I) Grapes from Namibia • From 2015 to 2018, grape exports to the EU increased by 35% to 26,000 tons a year • Export earnings increased by 30% to €65 million • The sector provides more than 6,000 permanent and around 10,000 seasonal jobs Baby vegetables from Eswatini • Economy dominated by sugar but slowly diversifying – baby vegetables as a high value opportunity • Widely known and produced in Eswatini by >1,500 farmers • Exports to South Africa and the EU, round 5 tonnes/year, €2.4 million in value, tendency upwards
  9. 9. Processed cocoa from Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana Since 2008 • Exports of cocoa paste, butter and powder increased by 136% • Continous growth, more resistent to price fluctuations that affect beans • Share of processed cocoa in the value of total cocoa exports increased from 27% to 34% Some successes (II) Cancer fighting plants from Madagascar • Endemic periwinkle has been identified as possessing cancer-fighing ingredients • 5,000 local farmers benefit today already from investment by French pharma company Pierre Fabre • EPA helps to put biodiversity in value while supporting to protect it
  10. 10. How do EPAs relate to AfCFTA? “Building on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) implementation, the long-term perspective is to create a comprehensive continent-to-continent free trade area between both continents. Economic Partnership Agreements, Free Trade Agreements, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Areas for North Africa, and other trade regimes with the EU should be exploited to the greatest extent, as building blocks to the benefit of the AfCFTA.” (EU-Africa Alliance Communication, September 2018) EPAs as political, economic and technical building blocks  Partnership: communication and cooperation platforms  A strong development dimension and building EPA partners’ capacity and competitiveness  Experience/expertise/tools to negotiate/implement key technical provisions  Regional economic integration -> AfCFTA
  11. 11. Task Force Rural Africa – EU-Africa Union joint recommendations • AU-EU Agribusiness Platform • AU-EU Agriculture Ministerial Conference • Implementation of the AU Continental Strategy on Gis • Cooperation programme among AU EU farmers organisations • Capacity building for SPS • Multi-stakeholder dialogue … to tackle issues relating to food imports and foreign direct investment going into African countries
  12. 12. Next steps of the EU trade partnership with Africa? 1. EPA Implementation 2. Deepening and widening of EPAs: 3. Promote EPA signature/ratification 4. Ensure synergies with AfCFTA 5. Implement recommendations of Task Force on Rural Africa