Uganda: EU market access vital for country
As the deadline for the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreements draws closer, Uganda has been told to negotiate for market and development if it is to get a fair deal. While addressing an EPA workshop in Kampala on September 20, The Executive Director African Centre for Trade and Development (ACTADE), Mr Elly Twineyo told a one-day workshop in Kampala on September 20 that while two issues are critical for strengthening Uganda’s exports to the European Union, Uganda had not made any break through on them. “As far as I am concerned, I still think that Uganda will not be in a position to sign a comprehensive EPA agreement because there is no comprehensively negotiated text in place,” Mr Twineyo said. “The issue of signing an agreement on services is not urgent”. The EU has been discussing the Economic Partnership Agreements for five years with six groups of mostly former European colonies in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions. The new deals will replace preferential deals the WTO has ruled illegal and says must by scrapped by the end of the year. The EPA allows Uganda to open up its markets to EU imports, a move, which is raising a lot of concern. In his presentation Mr Twineyo, a researcher, lecturer and trade analyst, said Uganda has a number of internal constraints that will affect a reciprocal trade relationship with a developed EU.