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2007 AEC - The Economic Partnership Agreements: Rationale, misperceptions and the non - trade aspects


The EU has a long history of partnership with the countries of the Africa, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) grouping. This partnership is based on historical links, including trade relations supported by highly preferential market access to the EU. Market access for the ACP under the Cotonou Agreement or the Everything but Arms (EBA) initiative is generous. Over 97% of ACP exports entered the EU duty free under preferences in 2005. However, in spite of this preferential treatment ACP trade with the EU has not diversified and their share of EU trade has steadily declined over the last 30 years. Clearly, preferential market access alone has not been adequate to stimulate an export-led growth in the ACP.

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