The European Union and Namibia have wrapped up negotiations for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and are expected to sign the agreement later this year as the EU builds on its involvement with Namibia. This was revealed by the Head of the EU Delegation to Namibia, Ambassador Raúl Fuentes Milani at a reception marking the European Day celebrations held at the EU Residence in Windhoek on Friday last week.
“We have finalised negotiations and are ready to sign sometime this year,” said Milani adding that the cooperation, once officially announced, would “open a new page in economic relations.” The EU and Namibia, together with other SADC countries, have been negotiating the EPA since 2007, and although initialised, Namibia is one of the countries that have not signed the EPA citing differences on key issues of export taxes, safeguarding measures on agricultural products and rules of origin.
“The idea is to change the current situation, based on un-bilateral concessions by the EU, into a bilateral understanding,” said Milani on the new direction of the EPA. Despite economic and trade agreements, the EU head says there is a lot of scope for cooperation on issues of international relations, as many of the goals that Namibia aim for in international relations are also in the EU’s focus.