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Trade Preferences and Rules of Origin: The Economic Partnership Agreements' Prospects for West and Central Africa

Published inRevue d'économie du développement, vol. 16, no. 5, p. 93-135
Publication date2008
Abstract

This paper analyzes the likely impact of European preferences, in particular of its Rules of Origin (RoO), on the prospects for integration of West Africa in world trade. We show that West African trade has not yet achieved the structural transformation of countries having successfully established themselves as manufacturing assembly platforms. EU RoO are complex, restrictive and discriminatory, hampering this integration of African producers in world trade. The paper explores the consequences of moving to a single product-specific RoO which would allow a maximum foreign content (MFC) to satisfy the substantial transformation criterion. We suggest that the developmental objective of the EPAs would be satisfied with a MFC of 90%-95% for LDCs and a 60%-70% for non-LDCs. Such a differentiated treatment should allow the small african companies in West Africa to enter into cross-border production chains. With such a move, the EU would also “seize the agenda” in the much awaited move towards multilateralization of preferential RoO.

Keywords
  • Economic partnership agreement
  • Trade preferences
  • Rules of origin
  • European Union
  • West Africa
Citation (ISO format)
DE MELO, Jaime, CADOT, Olivier, DJIOFACK, Calvin. Trade Preferences and Rules of Origin: The Economic Partnership Agreements” Prospects for West and Central Africa. In: Revue d’économie du développement, 2008, vol. 16, n° 5, p. 93–135. doi: 10.3917/edd.225.0093
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ISSN of the journal1245-4060
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