Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) an attack on food sovereignty and must be scrapped, say People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty

In a statement issued on the eve of the RCEP meeting in Japan (March 3)  the PCFS says that any agreement reached will mean the poorest member-countries will suffer.

The PCFS say that RCEP will be a neoliberal trade deal covering 3.5 billion or almost half of the world’s population with a gross domestic product of USD 22.5 trillion, and will strengthen the monopoly control of the biggest agro-corporations within the 10 members of ASEAN, India, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and China and even in the world.

The PCFS adds that the move for a Free Trade Agreement is led by China and will benefit the biggest Chinese capitalists more than any of RCEP member-countries.  Read the full statement below: Continue reading

Least Developed Countries falling further behind developed countries than ever

19 December 2016: Global poverty is increasingly concentrated among a group of 48 countries, which are falling further behind the rest of the world in terms of economic development, according to a United Nations report released on Tuesday by UNCTAD. The Least Developed Countries Report 2016: The Path to Graduation and Beyond – Making the Most of the Process states that a global goal to halve the size of this group will be missed unless the international community takes more action. Continue reading

WTO rules must be revised if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, says civil society

wto-2016On Thursday, 29 September, at the WTO Public Forum,  civil society speakers will argue for a change in WTO rules to achieve the SDGs. Speakers from the Third World Network,  Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI), Uganda, International Trade Union Confederation and LDC Watch will explain that in September 2015 governments agreed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but the SDGs cannot be achieved under existing WTO rules. Continue reading

East African Community seeks three month extension for decision on whether to sign the EPA with the EU.

eac_logo_web_0The East African Community (EAC) has sought a three-month extension on whether to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), with the European Union, pushing back the final agreement to January 2017. EAC Chair, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli told a plenary session that after considering all the issues raised by member states, the bloc’s leaders were seeking a three-month extension to arrive at a “win-win” result. Continue reading

SEATINI fears ‘secret’ signing of EPA by Kenya and Rwanda with EU could undermine regional integration

kenya-signs-epa-in-bruxThe Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiating Institute (SEATINI) believes that by signing the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, Kenya and Rwanda are undermining regional integration. The two countries signed  the EPA on 1 Sept in Brussels, a move which pre-empted the East African Community (EAC) Summit which took place on 8 Sept,  called to enable EAC Partner States to agree on a common position on whether or not to sign the EPA, or to consider other options. Continue reading

African economic growth is not necessarily leading to prosperity

Tom Murphy, Humanosphere, 7 June 2016: Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa fell to a 15-year low in 2015, and the downward trend is predicted to hold for 2016. It is a troubling trend for the region. With more that half of all Africans projected to be living in cities by 2050, attention is being placed on supporting urban development and getting economic growth back on track. However, some new research provides more evidence that the years of economic growth that preceded the downturn did not necessarily translate to improvements for all Africans. Continue reading

WTO Ministerial Nairobi: only five countries allowed into negotiations at the WTO Meeting – 157 countries excluded

21 December, Nairobi: On Friday, civil society activists, in Nairobi for the 10th Ministerial meeting of WTO Nairobithe World Trade Organization (WTO), including LDC Watch, protested the non-transparent and exclusive nature of the negotiations. A small group of five countries, known as the G5, is meeting behind closed doors to draft the text. The protestors pointed out that no African countries are present at these secret negotiations, which is the first WTO Ministerial on the continent of Africa, and that no Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are present in the talks. Civil society pointed out the outrageousness of rich countries pushing to abandon the so-called “Development Round” while excluding LDCs and Africans from the discussions Continue reading

WTO Ministerial: Nairobi must deliver a binding LDC package consistent with the IPoA commitment, says LDC Watch

WTO Nairobi15 December, Nairobi: Over 80 civil society experts – trdevelopment advocates, trade unionists, farmers, , and consumer activists from over 25 countries are at Nairobi for the 10th Ministerial meeting the WTO. Keys issue to be debated are WTO barriers to food security and sustainable development, the long overdue LDC package, and the need for any future agreements to address asymetries and imbalances in the existing WTO rules, particularly agriculture, Special and Differential Treatment (SDT). Continue reading