Southeast African farmers wary of EU deal

Friday 15 September 2006

Farmers of Malawi, a country in southeast Africa, have warned the government to tread carefully before endorsing the European Union's (eu's)economic partnership agreement. In a statement, the Malawian farmers union said that signing the new eu trade deal will undermine development and increase poverty.

The union has also urged governments of other African countries to seriously reconsider the implications of eu trade deals. Under the existing agreements that expire in 2007, African countries enjoy preferential market access to the eu. T he new economic partnerships are designed to replace the preference system with the Free Trade Agreements (fta), which will open up the African markets to eu products. The farmers union says that the eu is using fta as a tool to force free trade on Africa at a time when it is not ready to make gains through liberalisation.

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