HC Deb 24 July 2002 vol 389 cc1125-6W
16. Kevin Brennan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she will take to seek reform of European Union policy on international aid and development relating to promotion of trade links with aid recipients. [69888]

Clare Short

The European Union has three instruments to help improve trading opportunities for developing countries:

First, the Everything but Arms initiative (EBA), which grants the worlds 49 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) duty and quota free access to EU markets for all their export products, excluding arms and munitions.

Second, the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which are about to be negotiated with the 77 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions which are party to the Cotonou Agreement. These EPAs will seek to create WTO compatible free trade areas between coherent groups of ACP countries and the EU.

Third, the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), which grants all developing countries zero or reduced tariffs on the majority of their exports to the EU.

The Government will continue to work to improve the trade access offered under these arrangements.