Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)

SouthViews No. 238, 20 June 2022

Doha Twenty Years On – Has The Promise Been Betrayed?

By Yousuf Vawda and Bonginkosi Shozi

The Doha Declaration’s twentieth anniversary in November 2021 has taken place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The experience of the past two years has demonstrated that the very factors that necessitated the Declaration—the problems of inequitable access to medicines and other health technologies for the world’s poor—continue to plague us.

Has the promise of the Doha Declaration been betrayed? In this contribution, we critically engage with this question, focusing our appraisal on whether the Doha Declaration has been successful in fulfilling its commitments to: (a) advancing access to health; (b) equity and fairness in the relations between WTO Members States; and (c) recognising perspectives from the developing world in formulating IP policy. Ultimately, we conclude that the promise of the Doha Declaration has failed to materialise.

There are many reasons for this. For instance, developed country governments have intentionally undermined the Declaration by their insistence on inserting more onerous TRIPS-plus provisions in free trade agreements and economic partnership agreements, which decimate the limited flexibilities permitted by the TRIPS Agreement. And where countries have sought to use such flexibilities, they have been assailed by an over-litigious pharmaceutical industry, and threats by governments such as the US 301 Watch List. For these reasons, we argue for the need for alternative paradigms to challenge Western hegemony and norms regarding IP and other trade-related issues, and for effectively challenging this through the application of a “decoloniality” approach.

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South Centre Semester Report, January-June 2021

South Centre Semester Report, January – June 2021

This Semester Report summarizes the activities undertaken by the South Centre during the period 1st January to 30 June 2021. It is intended to provide information, organized by themes, about recent developments in the areas covered by the Centre’s Work Program, meetings organized or co-organized by the Centre to examine particular issues or provide analytical support for negotiations taking place in various international fora, and conferences and other meetings where the Centre has participated. It also informs about publications of the outcomes of internal policy-oriented research and external contributions made as a result of cooperation with the Centre.

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South Centre Semester Report, July-December 2020

South Centre Semester Report, July-December 2020

This Semester Report summarizes the activities undertaken by the South Centre during the period 1st July to 31 December 2020. It is intended to provide information, organized by themes, about recent developments in the areas covered by the Centre’s Work Program, meetings organized or co-organized by the Centre to examine particular issues or provide analytical support for negotiations taking place in various international fora, and conferences and other meetings where the Centre has participated. It also informs about publications made.

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South Centre Semester Report, January-June 2020

South Centre Semester Report, 1 January to 30 June 2020

This Semester Report summarizes the activities undertaken by the South Centre during the period 1st January to 30 June 2020. It is intended to provide information, organized by themes, about recent developments in the areas covered by the Centre’s Work Program, meetings organized or co-organized by the Centre to examine particular issues or provide analytical support for negotiations taking place in various international fora, and conferences and other meetings where the Centre has participated. It also informs about publications made.

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South Centre Quarterly Report, January-March 2019

South Centre Quarterly Report, 1 January to 31 March 2019

This report summarizes the programmatic activities of the South Centre during the period 1st January to 31st March 2019. It is intended to provide information, organized by Program and themes, about recent developments in the areas covered by the South Centre’s Work Program and publications made and meetings organized or co-organized by the Centre to examine particular issues or to provide analytical support for international negotiations taking place in various fora. It also informs about external conferences and other meetings where the Centre has participated.

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SouthViews No. 130, 12 August 2016

EPA has never made much sense for Tanzania

By H.E. Mr. Benjamin William Mkapa

The EPA issue has once again re-emerged when Tanzania informed EAC Members and the EU that it would not be able to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between EU and the six EAC Member States in early July. The European Commission reportedly proposed signature of the EAC EPA in Nairobi, on the sidelines of the 14th session of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XIV). (more…)

Investment Policy Brief 1, July 2015

Indonesia’s Perspective on Review of International Investment Agreements

The South Centre releases a new policy brief series focusing on international investment agreements and experiences of developing countries.

As part of this series, the publication of Investment Policy Brief No. 1 entitled by Mr. Abdulkadir Jailani briefly describes Indonesia’s experience with at least six investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases. It also explains Indonesia’s decision to discontinue its existing international investment agreements (IIAs); to date, 17 out of 64 IIAs have been discontinued by Indonesia. The paper explains the rationale for this important policy measure. (more…)

Analytical Note, October 2013

Ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement: The Case of Cameroon

This Note looks at the Costs and Benefits of an EPA for Cameroon if it would ratify the interim-EPA.

The main benefit of the EPA would be the avoidance of duties that EU importers would have to pay. If Cameroon would fall back to EU GSP, these duties would amount to USD 42.5 million / year (top-30 exports under EU GSP). In the case of the GSP+, only two key products will face tariffs: bananas and malt extract/food preparation with low cocoa contents. (more…)

Analytical Note, September 2013

The EU-CARIFORUM EPA: Regulatory and Policy Changes and Lessons for Other ACP Countries

This note assesses the state of play of EPA implementation in the CARIFORUM region. It shows that the regulatory, legislative and policy changes necessary for EPA implementation in the areas of trade in goods and services are at varying stages of implementation among member states, with many countries being very far from fully implementing the agreement. (more…)

Analytical Note, March 2013

EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreements: Current State of Play.

This note provides an overview of the EPA negotiations. It illustrates the fact that the same critical contentious issues persist in the EPAs across various regional blocs. It also highlights the concerns of the highest political authorities of ACP States regarding the EPAs and the inherent dangers for (more…)

Analytical Note, June 2012

The EPAs and Risks for Africa: Local Production and Regional Trade.

One of the main contentious issues in the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and African countries is the level of trade liberalization which Europe is asking for. This issue is certainly one of the most critical for Africa. (more…)

Analytical Note, November 2011

Economic Partnership Agreements in Africa: A Benefit-Cost Analysis.

This study provides a simple cost-benefit analysis of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between African countries and the European Union. It compares the costs of signing an EPA – measured as tariff revenue losses, versus the “gains” of signing an EPA – measured as (more…)

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