Implementation of EU-ESA interim Economic Partnership Agreement | 29 November 2019
Seychelles secures €10 million
Seychelles has secured €10 million through the 11th European Development Fund which will go towards facilitating the implementation of the European Union and Eastern and Southern Africa (EU-ESA) interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Through this, the government hopes to achieve at least 78% full compliance to the EU-ESA EPA by 2022.
The country currently meets fully 42%, substantially 36%, and partially 20% of the provisions and commitments made under the agreement.
The contract service agreement for the long-term technical assistance to support the EU-ESA interim project was signed yesterday by the EU ambassador to Seychelles and Mauritius Vincent Degert, Minister for Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning Maurice Loustau-Lalanne and project director from the GOPA Consulting Group Patrick Krause.
GOPA Consulting, which was awarded the tender for this project, is an independent private consultant company specialising in planning, management and technical assistance projects in developing and transition economies.
The objectives of the project are to reinforce the capacity of key partners to better implement trade and regional integration agreements and support private enterprises in the manufacturing, agriculture and fisheries sectors to boost their production and produce higher value products with high export potential – through diversification and through innovation.
Institutions that are expected to directly benefit from this programme are the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning; Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture; Fair Trading Commission; National Consumer’s Forum; Seychelles Investment Board; Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Seychelles Revenue Commission.
To assist the Ministry of Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Planning, the EU is providing a long-term technical expert who will be posted in the trade department for nearly 4 years, as well as a fisheries expert over a period of 3 years.
Short-term expertise will also be made available for studies and trainings in key areas where the finance ministry or key civil society organisations or private sector intermediary organisations identify a need.
In his speech, Ambassador Degert noted that the EPA has allowed the 5 ESA countries (Seychelles but also Madagascar, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and Comoros) to increase their exports to the EU by an average of 23% since the agreement entered into force in 2012.
Seychelles, in particular, has seen its exports increase by more than 30%.
“Not later than last month, Seychelles again showed its commitment to the EPA deepening process. The deepening is happening within a context of great attention being paid to African integration efforts, which we hope will culminate one day with the Free Trade Agreement between our two continents. The EU and ESA are about to start something that may become a big step towards this aim, and also forge a building block of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement,” Ambassador Degert stated.
On his part, Minister Loustau-Lalanne stated that “It is my sincere aspiration that the project will be a success and skills and capacity of not only government regulators will be enhanced, but equally that of our private sector, in the hope of making fruitful progress in the socio-economic development of Seychelles”.
The speeches were followed by a presentation by representatives from the GOPA Consultation Group on what they hope to achieve during their time in Seychelles.