Cape Verde wants to negotiate economic partnership with EU outside of ECOWAS

5 September 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 05 Sept – The government of Cape Verde said Monday that it had abandoned the agreement established as part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and plans to negotiate directly with the European Union (EU) for an economic partnership agreement, the Inforpress news agency reported.

According to Inforpress, which cited director general for Trade, José Júlio Monteiro, this decision had had an impact on the two-day seminar that began Monday and ends Tuesday, in Praia, which aims to present an economic impact study on a partnership agreement with the EU to several Cape Verdean entities.

The decision to abandon regional negotiations and find an alternative as part of the Cotonou Agreement (which regulates partnerships between the EU and countries in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions until 2020) was justified by the director general of Trade by the fact that Cape Verde “has specifics that are not common to the ECOWAS countries,” namely its insular nature and economic peculiarities that are the result of its being a nation of islands.

António Rodrigues, one of the members of the technical team that carried out the study on the Cape Verdean economy, explained to Inforpress that the decision by the Cape Verdean state was due to the fact that the “West African market is not attractive to Cape Verde,” and it was thus preferable for the country to look for a direct agreement with the European Union, which would provide access to other markets. (macauhub)