Country Report Swaziland January 2008

Foreign trade and payments: Swaziland agrees interim EPA with EU

In November, along with Botswana, Lesotho and Mozambique, Swaziland agreed an interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU. This was to ensure continued concessional access for their exports to the EU market after the Cotonou Agreement, which governs trade between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, expires at the end of 2007. Under the interim EPA, the EU offered duty- and quota-free access for almost all exports. Of particular importance to Swaziland is the retention of the EU's import quotas on sugar, which are expected to remain in place until 2015. However, Swaziland will benefit from the relaxation of rules of origin for textile exports. By being allowed to use imported textiles to make garments for export to the EU, the country will hope to diversify its apparel industry away from dependence on the US market, to which it has preferential access through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

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