East Agreement

EAST Agreement: Understanding the Economic Partnership Agreement

The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is a free trade agreement between the European Union (EU) and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The EU aims to create deeper economic integration through sustainable development, political stability, and poverty reduction in these countries by promoting trade and investment. One of these agreements is the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) region`s Economic Partnership Agreement, also known as EAST Agreement.

The EAST Agreement aims to promote regional economic integration between the EU and six ESA countries: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The East and Southern African region have an enormous economic potential due to its abundant natural resources, which include minerals, agriculture, and fisheries. However, the region`s economic growth remains sluggish, and poverty is still widespread. The EAST Agreement has the potential to strengthen economic ties between the EU and ESA countries, contributing to job creation, investment opportunities, and sustainable development.

The EAST Agreement was signed in 2009 and entered into provisional application in 2012. The agreement covers a wide range of areas, including trade in goods and development cooperation. The EAST Agreement`s main objective is to promote regional integration among the six ESA countries and improve market access for their products in the EU market. The agreement establishes a free trade area between the EU and ESA countries, with the EU gradually opening its market to ESA exports, allowing ESA countries to export their goods to the EU without tariffs or quotas.

The EAST Agreement also includes provisions for development cooperation, including technical assistance, capacity-building, and financial support to ESA countries. This support aims to help ESA countries improve their competitiveness, increase investment flows, and create employment opportunities. The agreement recognizes the importance of sustainable development and includes measures to promote environmental protection, social development, and human rights.

Moreover, the EAST Agreement has the potential to enhance regional integration in the ESA region by creating a harmonized and predictable framework for trade. The agreement promotes intra-regional trade by eliminating tariffs and other non-tariff barriers to trade among ESA countries. The agreement also promotes the coherence and coordination of regional integration efforts in the ESA region, contributing to the region`s stability and economic growth.

In conclusion, the EAST Agreement provides a platform for ESA countries to enhance their economic integration with the EU, promoting sustainable development, and poverty reduction. The agreement provides opportunities for ESA countries to enhance their competitiveness, create jobs, and increase investment flows. While the EAST Agreement has the potential to contribute to the ESA region`s economic growth, its success will depend on the implementation of the agreement`s provisions and effective cooperation among the signatories.