Analytical Note, March 2009

EPAs and Benchmarking Development.

The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) being negotiated between the EU and Africa pose a major challenge for African countries since they are essentially free trade agreements. As such, the issue of development benchmarks has often been discussed. Many realize the need to stringently monitor the implementation of EPAs where these are signed, and to put in place brakes on the liberalization process if the desired development goals are not being attained.

This paper proposes three concrete development benchmark indicators, drawing on the EU’s own indicators when graduating countries out of their Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) schemes: the Development Index; Export Concentration/Diversification; and Import Concentration.

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