|The Courier N° 121 March-april 1990- Dossier Refugees - Country Reports: Botswana - Zambia (EC Courier, 1990, 104 p.)|
The ACP-EEC Joint Assembly held its first meeting since the signing of LomV in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, in the far reaches of the Pacific, on 19 and 20 March, at the time of two major political events, the proclamation of Namibian independence and East Germanys first free elections for 45 years. So the recent changes in Southern Africa- the liberation of Nelson Mandela and the legalisation of the ANC- and the upheavals in Eastern Europe set the tone, attracting unanimous approval, with the occasional tinge of fear.
It was clear from the word go. In turn, the two Presidents, Leo
Tindemans (Belgium) and Mamadou Diop (Senegal), welcomed the historic changes in
Eastern Europe. Mamadou Diop also expressed legitimate concern about the
European Community looking to these countries and perhaps sacrificing the
achievements of exemplary cooperation with its partners in the South, but his
European opposite number assured him that, although history was certainly
redrawing the lines laid down by World War II and attracting the
Communitys attention in this, it
was perfectly normal. I am sure that our ACP partners understand it perfectly well. Our future is at stake. But is that to say we shall attach less importance to our relations with the ACPs? I should like to tell our partners very candidly that this is not the case- and I see that the means of ACP-EEC cooperation have increased greatly .
There was no difference of opinion on Southern Africa, on which the two co-Presidents share the same joy and optimism... tempered with prudence. They were elated at Namibias independence following elections monitored by the mission which they led in November (Leo Tindemans hoped Namibian MPs will attend the next meeting of the Assembly) and they are cautiously optimistic about the changes in South Africa. The freeing of Nelson Mandela- -at Mamadou Diops suggestion, this got a standing ovation- and the unbanning of the ANC were positive signs, clearly, but apartheid was still there, preventing the emergence of a democratic, non-racist South Africa. This was why the two co-Presidents and later almost all the members who spoke in the debate on Southern Africa were to ask for the international pressure which had helped trigger these beginnings of change to be maintained.
Not only were the two up-to-theminute topics of Southern Africa and Eastern Europe discussed. Another matter, of geographical concern this time, the special situation of the Pacific countries, was also on the agenda and it was something the Joint Assembly, holding the first Pacific session in its existence, could scarcely avoid. And it was the focus of the opening speech of PNGs Prime Minister Rabble Namaliu, the man who signed LomII on behalf of the ACP Group in 1985.
In the Pacific, Mr Namaliu said, countries are all fighting for survival. It is a fight to stop the region becoming the scene of rivalry between the great powers, to stop the environment suffering from nuclear pollution, to stop the pillage of their waters and to minimalise the greenhouse effect.
And during the general debate which followed, three Ministers presented the Pacific case, each one dealing with a specific aspect. Berenado Vunibobo, Fijis trade and commerce Minister, gave an overall picture of the region, Edmund Andersen, the Solomon Islands Minister of Trade and Primary Industry, spoke of fisheries problems and Michael Somare, PNGs Foreign Minister, discussed environmental protection. A number of key ideas emerged from this detailed presentation, first of all regional cooperation, which was vital to this set of small countries with their limited natural resources, poor soil and frequent hurricane damage. So all the barriers to the rapid implementation of Convention-financed regional projects had to be identified and overcome. Another major factor was the need to protect the regions marine resources by banning fishing with drift nets. There is an agreement to this effect, but the three countries which use the method the most (Japan, Taiwan and South Korea) have still to ratify it. Lastly, there is the idea of making the Pacific a nuclear-free zone, but the treaty adopted in the Cook Islands in 1985 has not yet been ratified by any of the major signatories other than the USSR and China. The Pacific ACPs objected to the French nuclear testing in the region and said they were concerned about their part of the ocean being chosen as the ideal place for storing nuclear waste because of the isolation and low population density.
Commission Vice-President Manuel Marin, who is responsible for Development and Fisheries, said that the prospects of greater EEC-Pacific cooperation were very promising under LomV. There had been delays in implementing the previous Convention and the level of commitment was lower than for other regions, in particular because of the difficulty of organising special import programmes, with the distance of the Pacific making for extremely expensive imports from Europe. Mr Marin said he was ready to suggest changing the rule whereby regional projects had to purchase supplies in Europe and that he thought regional cooperation had a great future in the Pacific. It was vital, he thought, in the prevention of natural disasters and the greenhouse effect, in the protection of marine resources, in tourist development and in transport and communications. The European Development Commissioner also suggested that Europe and the countries of the region should get together and harmonise their positions in matters such as the storage of toxic waste and fishing with drift nets- both subjects of discussion in other international fore.
Mr Torres Couto thought that consultation was not enough. The Community had to ensure that the ban on exporting nuclear waste to the Pacific was scrupulously respected. Mr Muntingh condemned Frances nuclear testing at Mururoa, denounced Japan and Korea for their use of death nets and further condemned Japan for its exploitation of the regions forests when its own trees were virtually sacred .
A severe summing-up
In spite of references current affairs and considerations of geography, tradition was respected at Port Moresby and, as usual, the Joint Assembly discussed a general report on the functioning of cooperation under the Convention. The report was presented by Hartmut Perschau and the aim was to suggest one or two guidelines within the framework of LomV to improve the economic and social situation of the ACP States.
The ACPs are now faced with economic and financial difficulties, political ones too, and there is no short-term solution, said the report in its severe assessment of the situation. The problems are of such magnitude that new, and above all, global approaches have to be defined in our development policies. The present crisis, it maintains, is essentially one of macro-economic imbalances, with plummeting raw material prices, a balance of payments deficit, dwindling exports, budget deficits, declining export earnings, heavier debts and debt servicing obligations, an expanding population, inflation, inadequate industrialisation and investment, a capital drain, poor training opportunities, soaring unemployment, greater poverty among the rural population, a rural exodus, expanding slum development, a deteriorating environment, a shortage of energy products and so on. The imbalance is further aggravated by non-economic factors such as armed conflict, increasing numbers of refugees, natural disasters, famine, epidemics and disease (the rapid spread of AIDS for example), all practical signs of the loss of new productive resources to the development process.
The main aim of the new Convention, the spokesman held, had to be to do away with famine, poverty and, most important, social injustice. He suggested doing this by developing the policy dialogue between the ACPs and the Community- the only way, to his mind, of creating the conditions to make a success of the transfer of resources and, therefore, of improving the situation of the majority of the poor populations who were the priority target of LomV. This idea of policy dialogue of Edgard Pisani, the Development Commissioner at the time of the LomII negotiations, was, Mr Perschau thought, of vital importance. But, he warned, it was only meaningful if all the partners were bound to it. The ACPs drive to reorganise was an integral part of it and so was the Communitys assurance about the transfer of resources the elimination of barriers to trade and the solving of the debt problem.
On the subject of implementation of the Convention, the spokesman said that jointly-decided programmes had been done away with because there was no dialogue. Some projects, he said, were studied by consultants at great expense and then abandoned. He asked the Commission to cooperate with the World Bank and the IMF on structural adjustment programmes to prevent the poor being the victims of social injustice once more. Lastly, in the matter of the debt, he said he was pleased that LomV dealt with the question for the first time, before suggesting that, although the EEC and the Member States could indeed help find answers, the ACPs also had a part to play by bringing in better budget policies, cutting back on spending and calling a halt to the drain of mainly national but also foreign capital.
Mr Perschau ended by saying that we have to agree to criticise each other if we are to avoid the same catastrophic balance sheet at the end of LomV. He addressed four questions to the Commission:
1. How much of the 6th EDF has been paid over so far? How do commitments relate to payments? Is it true that only 15 or 20 % of payments have been able to be made and, if so, is this due to the cumbersome nature of EDF procedures or to divergences on project implementation between the Commission and the ACP States concerned?
2. How far has LomII project aid been transformed into aid for imports or support for the balance of payments?
3. What percentage of total project costs is the remuneration of consultants?
4. Is it true that better disbursements come up against problems of implementation in the ACPs because of their economic and administrative structures?
If it is difficult to find new projects that are valid, it would perhaps be more sensible to concentrate on schemes being run at the moment, with particular attention to improving quality, protecting the environment and ensuring training, advanced training and health facilities.
Manuel Marin gave a straight answer on all these points, but first of all, he tried to set the discussions in their proper context. The ACPs are in a bad state, it is true, but LomV is not the answer to all their problems, he said so all those who jump from the Convention to all development issues such as the raw materials slump and the debt crisis should know that such things are beyond the remit of LomLomhe said, is a sound agreement for what it is meant to do - consolidate the achievements of the past, that is to say. Those who think the financial allocation is too small, he said, should realise that this is the highest amount of any multilateral organisation ever, with a 26 % increase in real terms and 40 % in face value over the previous Convention. In comparison, World Bank credits have increased by 16% in face value and 0 % in real terms. And there is no more concessional aid than Lomither, 93 % of which is in the form of grants. However, it must also be realised that the Convention is a subsidiary thing, only an addition to other sources, and that aid from the private sector is vital and that it is the ACPs job to create the sort of conditions which will attract the private investors who would otherwise be looking to Eastern Europe.
Manuel Marin answered Mr Perschaus questions, saying that 73 % of LomII had been committed and that 19% of programmable aid had actually been disbursed by the end of the Convention. He also proposed that a Joint Assembly working party investigate the causes of this non-utilisation of credits in both the ACP administrations and the Commission departments. By the end of February, he said, 35 special import programmes had been run and this was 10-12% of the Convention, but the Commission did not impose these programmes, as the ACPs in fact requested them as an alternative to projects. Technical assistance, it is true, was an important part of Community projects, because it represented 15% of the volume of credits. On the last question, Commissioner Marin said that, although he agreed that the Commission was partly to blame for slow payments, the ACP authorities also had something to do with it. He announced that a study was being run to suggest ways of recycling or re-utilising Community credits ( but the writing off of debts is a magic expression which should be forgotten) and he ended optimistically, saying that the Convention made it possible to face up to the future. The future belongs to the Third World if the Third World wants, he said, attracting applause, the proof that his direct approach was well received overall.
Then, rather as it had done last year in Bridgetown (Barbados) and Versailles (France), the Joint Assembly spent some time following up the Wurtz Report on the consequences of the Single Market on the ACP economies (see The Courier No 114, pp. 2-5). The final version of this report and the proposal for a resolution which goes with it may have won ACP unanimity, but there were considerable reservations from the Europeans. Some of them- Messrs Price, Turner and Verhagen, for example blamed Mr Wurtz, who is a Communist, for impregnating his writing with his own ideology and wanted him to produce a more balanced version. Others, Wynn and Telkamper for example, stressed that this criticism came a little late in the day, as all political colours were represented on the working party and complaints should have been made earlier on. Those who complained about his warnings on the Single Market of 1992 on the grounds that they were tantamount to an attack on this policy were told that the ACPs economies had deteriorated to the point where any further imbalance would be fatal. He had looked for anything that would further complicate the ACPs task in the Single Market, highlighting whatever measures would protect what they had already gained and tackle the root cause of their poverty. As Mr Wurtz saw it, they could afford no more mistakes and it was better to be over-cautious than over-optimistic.
Manuel Marin said he was put off by the overdose of ideology in the discussion of Europe in 1992. As he saw it the Single Market would be neither heaven nor hell. It did involve some risk for the ACPs ( but what progress doesnt?)? but there was still time to make the changes which would mean that such risk could be avoided.
When Mr Wurtz proved willing to compromise on the points at issue, his report was adopted.
The Joint Assembly then heard the two Co-Presidents of the ACP-EEC Council of Ministers, Sean Calleary (Ireland) and Wilfred Grep (Suriname), talk about the features of the new Convention. And then came question time eight to the Council (including what would happen if the European Parliament refused to ratify LomV?. - Well, it wouldnt take effect, Calleary said) and 33 to the Commission, ranging from Stabex transfers to PNG to the Commissions recruitment of social experts, the problem of the refugees of Irian Jaya (PNG) and the locust control campaign in West Africa.
Mr Nordmann then outlined where the commission of enquiry on racism and xenophobia had got since it started work in 1989 (a report is due to be published this year). He said Europe coud not refuse to give guarantees to ACP nationals living in the Community when it was calling upon these countries to respect human rights in the Convention. He thought the Single Market held risks here. Raymond Chasle, the Mauritian Ambassador to the EEC, deplored recent events which had heightened the ACPs feeling of insecurity and Leo Tindemans said he had noticed a resurgence of racialism and xenophobia. As he saw it, the biggest danger was the rampant racialism which poisoned peoples minds and led to explosions like the recent one in Florence. The answer was education, culture. control of migration and a solution to the refugee problem.
Mrs Valent, the Italian MP (who is of Somali origin) called for the setting up of a working party on this, because, she said, everyone was concerned. Mr Melandri thought that the present rural exodus was the result of the fact that Europes wealth is the Third Worlds poverty. There was no point in a defensive policy, he thought, because cultural differences were an opportunity for the host countries. Mr Martinez (National Front) did not agree, calling for the right to identity for his people. And Colette Flesch urged the meeting to react by taking up a political position. Human rights could not be oneway traffic and if Europe objected to the ACPs violating them, it had to agree to reciprocal considerations.
The Joint Assembly then voted on the resolutions - 29 of them on subjects as varied as the implementation of Lomn West Africa and the Pacific, implementation of the African Human Rights charter, the protection of tropical rain forests and the situation of coffee producers.
One of the resolutions invited Nelson Mandela to speak to the (next) Joint Assembly in Rome, scheduled for 24-28 September 1990, or to the (following) one in Kampala, Uganda, in January 1991.
The ACP-EEC Council of Ministers which meets immediately after the signing of the new Convention is traditionally a transitional one, experience of the previous Convention having of course provided matter for discussion and compromise during the recently-completed negotiations and there being nothing to say about the new text, the effect of which obviously has not yet been felt. And the 15th Council session held in Suva (Fiji) on 28 and 29 March, with Irish Foreign Minister Sean Calleary and Surinames Economic Affairs Minister Wilfred Grep as co-Presidents and Manuel Marin representing the Commission, was a transitional meeting in the true sense of the word.
Most of the items on the agenda had to do with subjects which had been dealt with in detail during the negotiations and undergone no change since. But, as usual, no less than 20 of them including reconstitution of the Lom Stabex resources and the fact that 1980 and 1981 transfers were reduced because of inadequate funds- were up for discussion by the Ministers, as they had been for the past 10 years. And what is maybe another tradition was continued by Wilfred Grep, whose lengthy speech at the opening ceremony contained a detailed catalogue of all the ACP claims, including such matters as debt, reactivation of the international commodity agreements, the Sugar Protocol, Stabex, Sysmin, the Uruguay Round, the situation of ACP nationals living in the Community and so on. Mr Grep also looked at the forthcoming LomV programming, mentioning the exchange of views or dialogue... which is the essence of the programming exercise... and should enable the ACP State to decide on its own priorities, stressing economic and social diversification and transformation in the long term - the aim of all the parties involved in programming.
He went on to say that many ACP States are currently embarking on structural adjustment programmes with a view to gearing their economies to long-term development, so, when planning, it is important to avoid sacrificing the focal aim of adjustment to short- and medium-term aims. And here, top priority should go to developing human resources which emphasise the wellbeing of the most vulnerable sections of the population.
Wilfred Grep was preceded by Sean Calleary, who talked about the general climate of the negotiations and the main advances of the new Convention and reassured the ACPs about the future of ACP-EEC cooperation. He said that he believed that completion of the Single Market was a great opportunity for the Communitys trading partners in the developing world, including the ACP States, because it would be a source of economic growth and new trade prospects. And it would not weaken our commitments vis-is our ACP partners .
The recent change in East-West relations had done nothing to alter the determination of either the Community or its Member States to improve their policies of cooperation with the developing countries - which remained a fundamental part of their external policies . We wanted to state, he said, clearly and unequivocally, that our relations with Eastern and Central Europe and the developing nations were complementary. They were in no way mutually exclusive and they derived from a spirit of solidarity, not competition .
Removing the barriers
In this, Sean Calleary was responding to worries expressed a few moments earlier by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, the Prime Minister of Fiji, who had called on the Community to make sure that the Single Market improved the cooperation established under the four Conventions, criticised the complexity of the Community aid procedures and suggested setting up a joint working party to look into the matter and propose simplifications an idea which Commission Vice-President Manuel Marin first mentioned at the ACP-EEC Joint Committee meeting in Port Moresby a week earlier and had already brought up at the Article 193 Committee the previous day. The rate of disbursement of programmable aid- 19% by the end of LomII was so slow and the ACP requirements were so great that they had to try and locate and remove every barrier to financial and technical cooperation in both ACP administrations and Commission departments. The Commission, Mr Marin said, had already started thinking about this and payments would be computerised by the end of the year. This was a considerable improvement, but there would have to be many more and the joint study which the ACP-EEC Council of Ministers had agreed to launch would no doubt be identifying them. Thus, the Suva meeting will perhaps be remembered a few years hence as the one which triggered the process leading to a noticeable improvement in the rate of disbursement of Community aid.
It was also the meeting which adopted the basic principles for the fisheries sector and agreed on the general rules for EDF-financed works and supplies contracts- a frame of reference on the Council agenda for years.
Lastly, the Council, which will not be meeting again this year, delegated powers to the Committee of Ambassadors to ensure that Namibia can accede to the Convention as soon as it wishes to do so.
The Ambassadors will also have to appoint the heads of the CDI and CTA by 30 June, the Council having been unable to reach a decision on this. The ACPs, who have still not managed to choose between their five present candidates, are claiming the post of Director of the CDI- as is the Community, which has put forward Paul Frix, a Belgian, for the job. Both parties are applying the principle of rotation, which, clearly, does not start at the same time in both cases. The EEC is also linking the appointment to that of the Director of the CTA, which it would be willing to let go to an ACP, provided its own candidate gets the CDI job. The decision will be taken in a month or two.
Following the favourable opinion delivered by the EDF Committee, the Commission has decided that the projects listed below should be financed.
National School of Engineering in Conakry
Grant: ECU 5 500 000
The aim is to consolidate work begun under the 5th EDF at the National School of Engineering (ENAM) in Conakry, by:
- completing the rehabilitation of some of the
- supplying additional equipment and teaching and demonstration materials;
- sending out technical assistance staff to train instructors.
Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development (CARDI)
Grant: ECU 5300000
The programme has as its objective the development of agricultural production in the Caribbean with particular emphasis on import substitution of animal products and staple food crops through increased production by small farmers. This is in keeping with the Caribbean Communitys stated policy in this sector.
A five-year practically-oriented research and development programme emphasising the on-farm application of research finding will be executed in the following fields:
- information and technology transfer
- tissue culture facilities,
- sheep and goat development and pasture management,
- seed propagation for pasture and legumes,
- soil fertility research.
Fertiliser buffer stock expansion
Fifth and sixth EDFs
Grant: ECU 13 950 000
In October 1987, the Government of Malawi and the EC Commission agreed to fund a fertiliser buffer stock to guarantee continued and timely availability in periods of supply disruption and also to improve fertiliser use at grassroots level in normal times. The buffer stock programme comprised the purchase of 70000 m tonnes of fertiliser and the construction of 65 000 m³ storage capacity in three strategic locations.
The expanded programme decided provides for the purchase of an additional 20000 m tonnes of fertiliser, carrying the total volume of the buffer stock up to 90 000 m tonnes. The increased quantity can be accommodated in the warehouses included in the initial programme.
Programme for opening up transport routes in Burundi
Grant: ECU 23 600 000
Special loan: ECU 9 400 000
Burundi is one of the most deeply landlocked countries in Africa; all its supplies depend on conditions prevailing on the various access routes from outside. The aim of this project is the improvement of those conditions as part of a series of complementary operations designed to improve access to countries such as Rwanda, Uganda and eastern Za from the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam.
The programme proposes the rehabilitation of national road 1 (RN 1) from Bujumbura up to the frontier with Rwanda, along which flows the entire road traffic coming from those two ports. It covers also the construction of a surfaced road which will form the last stretch (Muyinga-Kobero) of the road (RN 6) linking Kayanga, on the RN 1, with the Tanzanian frontier. The remaining item in the programme concerns work on improving the port facilities and the road freight centre at Bujumbura.
Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles
Regional programme for meteorological cooperation
Grant: ECU 1 000 000
Special loan: ECU 4 000 000
The aim of this programme is to improve detection, forecasting and warning by upgrading the meteorological and telecommunications resources relating to tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean region. The direct and immediate result will be an increase in meteorological knowledge in general and in aid for the development of regional centres and networks for which it will provide equipment; it will also provide training for meteorologists and technicians.
All ACP States
Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation
Grant: ECU 5 957 000
Budget financing for the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation.
All ACP States
Centre for the Development of Industry
Grant: ECU 9132000
Budget financing for the Centre for the Development of Industry.
All ACPs and OCTs
The ACP-EEC Courier
Grant: ECU I 340 000
The project covers the 1990 operating budget of The ACP-EEC Courier, the journal aimed at providing a flow of information between the ACP and the EEC countries and between the ACP countries themselves.
River Ferry Service
Grant: ECU 600 000
The LomII indicative programme to Guyana earmarks 90 % of resources for the economic infrastructure sector, with the aim of removing constraints on increased production through the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure.
In April 1987, the Commission approved a grant of ECU 1.95 m for the River Ferry Service: Immediate Action Programme.
The programme has been split into two phases, with Phase One utilising the ECU 1.95 m available, and covering the rehabilitation of two of the three vessels. Phase 2 will then cover the rehabilitation of the third vessel plus studies of the management and finances of the ferry service.
ACP States of Western Africa
Grant: ECU 7 500 000
The programme is a continuation of an existing programme to prevent the occurrence of rinderpest in Africa.
The programme which also provided for direct aid to countries most affected by rinderpest in Africa has, as it main aim, the increasing of means available for professionals working in livestock development. To this end discussions took place with individual countries on how to ensure better financing of the livestock services.
The project identifies specific actions in the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, potentially Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger and Togo.
The action envisaged for financing are as follows:
- continuation of campaigns against rinderpest;
- establishment of livestock development funds;
- encouragement of the privatisation of the veterinary professions and of other functions in the livestock services.
Deep sea fishing fleet development
Grant: ECU 470000
Special loan: ECU 950 000
The subject of the project is the financing of three 24 m fishing boats fitted for catching tuna by drag-line outside the Territorys economic zone, especially in the south, and by long line within the economic zone.
Development of the fishing industry is a priority in the Territorys plan, corresponding as it does to the plans main objectives: job creation, opening up the archipelagoes and developing the primary sector.
Export support service
Grant: ECU 500 000
The project provides for aid in the creation and running in of an Export Support Service (SAE) whose function will be to promote exports of tropical produce.
This operation forms part of the plan to diversify Burundis exports which are at present over-reliant on coffee, leaving the countrys economy precariously vulnerable to the fluctuations of world prices for this commodity.
Farming system support programme
Grant: ECU 13 000 000
The project has been designed as the first stage of a long-term programme for the development of a comprehensive research programme integrally linked to enhanced agricultural extension services. It is a follow-up to the 4th EDF Coffee Rehabilitation Programme. (Doe: UG/615/81-en).
The research programme concentrates on coffee in particular but also on staple foodcrops. Improved extension services will adopt a farming systems approach enabling farmers to take full advantage of the inputs provided through the project.
The primary sectoral aim is to assist smallholders to improve the quality and yields of coffee and other crops in existing cultivated areas.
Fifth and sixth EDFs
Grant: ECU 20 000 000
During 1989, the Government of Zambia has re-established its dialogue with the international donor community and instituted a courageous set of economic policy measures in order to restructure the economy. In order to reinforce and sustain the implementation and success of these policies and programmes, Zambia is in need of urgent, quick-disbursing import support on a grant basis so that supply constraints in the productive and social sectors can be alleviated.
Importers of inputs, spare parts and intermediate productive goods in the agriculture, industry, transport and, especially, export-oriented sectors will be eligible for access to the facility which will be managed by the Ministry of Finance through the Bank of Zambia working jointly with the EC Delegation in Lusaka. Importers of supplies, goods and equipment in the social, education, population and health sectors will also be eligible, in order to enhance the positive effects and protection offered to those vulnerable groups most exposed to hardship as a result of the adjustment process in the economy.
Grant of ECU 24000000 to finance an agricultural import
Grant: ECU 24 000 000
The Commission has just approved a second sectoral programme (SIP II) to help Ethiopia overcome its serious economic difficulties. This will finance inputs for the smallholder sector and support the production of cotton and essential consumer goods.
The scheme, which involves rapid payment of the amount allocated and is based on the foundations laid by SIP I, which got off to a good start, will be completed in 1990. The goods provided under SIP II will be sold to the organisations taking part and the counterpart funds accruing will be used to support coffee production and guarantee the local commitments of the Agricultural Development Programmes- one burden less for the State budget, which will be losing revenue because the climate is unsuitable for coffee marketing.
The inputs involved include fertiliser for the smallholders, various supplies and technical assistance to improve water distribution and the yield of agricultural machinery in the (irrigated and mechanised) cotton sector, spare parts and raw materials for industrial firms producing essential consumer goods such as soap, sugar, extra food and clothing.
After a slight improvement in the economy in 1988-89, Ethiopia is now faced with a number of events which are compromising the improvement. This is interfering with the countrys ability to pay for the essential imports, particularly for the smallholder sector in which large-scale development schemes have just been started with the support of the Commission and other funders. Things are made worse by the impending drought in the North, which will take up existing means for the vital rescue operation. Lastly, the continuing decline in cotton production and the attendant imports are further increasing the pressure on the balance of payments.
These problems are occurring at a time when the authorities are pursuing a policy of economic liberalisation and the agricultural prices and the marketing measures introduced in 1988 are beginning to have a positive effect on food output and farm incomes and several new decrees in other sectors of the economy are being published.
Grant: ECU I 500 000
The purpose of the project is to address the fundamental need of the Solomon Islands land transport system and its interface with inter-island shipping: that is 1) the elimination of the backlog of maintenance and rehabilitation caused by the inadequacy of financial and human resources of the Ministry of Transport, Works and Utilities (MTWU) and aggravated by cyclone damage, and 2) the strengthening of the MTWUs capacity to carry out effective and timely maintenance in the future.
The project comprises four physical investment components with supporting technical assistance (TA). These are:
- the rehabilitation or replacement of selected bridges and
wharves at key locations throughout the rural transport system;
- the selective rehabilitation of the 128 km Guadalcanal weather coast road serving an important copra producing area;
- the construction of a 12 km road on Makira linking a recently established Rural Services Project in the north-west with the existing road network; and
- a labour intensive feeder road construction programme.
Drinking water supply to Aloun el Atrouss
Grant: ECU 3 100 000
The objective is the provision and distribution of drinking water for Aloun el Atrouss, a town of 16 000 inhabitants situated in south-eastern Mauritania.
Two deep boreholes will tap underground water at ±150m to feed a 300 m³ reservoir from which a gravity-fed network of pipes will distribute it to the various districts: to private connections (200 are provided for) and to 10 street fountains. The existing reservoir near the hospital will be put into working order.
Technical assistance will be provided for supervision of the works and providing training courses for those involved in the project.
Grant: ECU 15 500 000
This project involves the improvement and asphalting of the road between Yako and Ouahigouya (74 km). It will complete the link between Ouagadougou, the countrys capital, and Ouahigouya, the main town of Yatenga province, with a fully asphalted road. The section between Ouagadougou and Yako (108 km) was asphalted by means of a project financed by the fifth EDF. This is part of what is known as the fish road, which links up Burkina Faso and Mali via the inland delta of the river Niger, and it plays an important part in the regions trade in crop and livestock products.
Fifth and sixth EDFs
Grant: ECU I 000 000
Special loan: ECU 6 000 000
The project aims to strengthen the regions human resource by increasing access to tertiary education for students from all the regions countries and territories, by providing student accommodation at three major tertiary educational institutions - the University of the West Indies (UWI), the College of Arts, Science and Technology (CAST) and the Cultural Training Centre (CTC). The present shortage of accommodation acts as a major constraint to attendance by students from throughout the region.
The principal component of the project consist of construction of residential hostels with a total of 1080 beds and daytime accommodation for a further 500 students at the six campuses concerned in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.
Burundi: ECU 4 million for small and medium-sized enterprises
The European Investment Bank is granting a global loan of ECU 4 m to support small and medium-sized projects in agro-industry, industry, fisheries, mining, tourism and in the transport sector in Burundi.
The funds, from risk capital resources, are advanced in form of a conditional loan, to Banque Nationale de Dloppement Economique (BNDE) for onlending (for 15 years at 2% per annum), for equity participations (up to 25 years at I %), or to finance studies (up to 10 years at 1 %)
The loan will be the fourth in Burundi under the Third Lomonvention.
Central African Republic: ECU 10 million for electricity supply
The EIB is providing ECU 10 m to finance the rehabilitation and extension of electricity supply facilities in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic.
The funds, from risk capital resources provided under the Third Lomonvention and managed by the EIB, are being advanced to the State, which will use ECU 6 m to participate in the equity capital increase of Soci dEnergie Centrafricaine (Enerca) and will onlend ECU 4 m to Enerca in the form of a convertible loan. To the extent that the loan is used to finance equity it is granted for 25 years at I %, to the extent that it will be onlent the terms are 20 years and 2 %.
The EIBs contribution is part of a wider scheme to increase power generation and distribution, mainly by developing hydro-electric resources; it comprises the construction of a flood control dam, the rehabilitation of two hydroelectric power stations, the installation of a new 5MW thermal generating set, the expansion of the City of Banguis transmission and distribution networks and improvements to Enercas technical and administrative capacity.
Total cost for the overall scheme which is to be implemented between 1989 and 1992 is estimated at ECU 69 m. Financing also comes from the International Development Association (World Bank Group), the African Development Fund, Frances Caisse Centrale de Cooption Economique (CCCE), the Kuwait Fund and Enercas own resources.
CdIvoire: ECU 46 million for energy and sewerage
In the framework of the global economic and financial reform programme undertaken by the CdIvoire authorities, the European Investment Bank is providing ECU 46 m for electricity supply and for drainage and sewerage networks. The funds are made available under the Third Lomonvention and attract an interest subsidy from European Development Fund resources.
1) Energy Sector:
The Bank is lending ECU 30 million for 17 years at 5.60%, to the Republic of CdIvoire for on-lending to Energie Electrique de CdIvoire (EECI) to finance part of the countrys energy sector adjustment programme. CdIvoire has committed itself to restructuring the energy sector whose financial needs are estimated at some ECU 290 m. The objectives of this programme are to improve operating efficiency and promote a more rational use of energy. The major ElB-financed components are the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing installations and the extension of the distribution network, to meet demand up to the mid-1990s. The programme is cofinanced by the World Bank and the African Development Bank, amongst others. Financing is also expected to come from Caisse Centrale de Cooperation Economique, Paris.
2) Drainage and sewerage system
The Republic of CdIvoire is furthermore receiving ECU 16m for 17 years at 5.6%, to finance improvements to Abidjans drainage and sewerage system, mainly through the completion of the trunk sewer, the link-up of the port industrial zone, the installation of treatment works, and an ocean outfall for the disposal of waste water. The works will considerably improve the lagoons environment.
Madagascar: ECU 3.225 million for industrial fishing and fish-processing
The EIB is granting ECU 3.225 m to part-finance the replacement of three fishing trawlers and the modernisation of a shrimp-processing plant at Hell-Ville on the north-western coast of Madagascar.
The funds, from risk capital resources, are advanced to Peries de Nossi-BPNB), an important Madagascar-based private industrial group, in the form of an equity participation of ECU 425 000 (9.5 % of the capital), a shareholders advance of ECU I m at I %, and a conditional loan, of ECU 1.8m for 12 years at 4 %. PNB had already received a loan of ECU 5 m in 1983 from the EIB, from risk capital resources, for the acquisition of four fishing trawlers.
The total cost of the project is estimated at ECU 13.45 m; additional finance is expected to come from Caisse Centrale de Cooption Economique (Paris) and the International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group).
Nigeria: ECU 50 million for small and medium-sized enterprises
As part of its financing activities under the Third Lomonvention, the EIB has lent the Nigerian Industial Development Bank (NIDB) ECU 50 m for onlending to small and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial, agro-processing, mining and tourism sectors.
This global loan has been granted for a term of 14 years at a rate of 5.6% after deduction of an interest subsidy from the resources of the European Development Fund.
This operation is the third with NIDB: in 1978 and 1983 NIDB two global loans totalling ECU 65 m were granted, out of which 85 projects were financed.
Suriname: ECU 3 million for small and medium-sized enterprises
The European Investment Bank is granting a global loan of ECU 3 m to support small and medium-sized projects in industry, agro-industry, forestry, mining and tourism in Suriname.
The funds, from risk capital resources, are advanced in form of a conditional loan to Nationale Ontwikkelingsbank N.V. (NOB) for 15 years at 2%.
Global loans are advanced to development banks or other financial institutions who on-lend the funds in smaller amounts for investment projects appraised according to the ElBs economic, financial and technical criteria.
Trinidad and Tobago: ECU 15 million in support of small and medium-sized enterprises
The European Investment Bank is providing ECU 15 m in support of small and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial, agro-industrial and tourism sectors in Trinidad and Tobago:
- a global loan of ECU 12 m from the Banks own resources for 15 years at 5.5% (after deduction of an interest rate subsidy from the European Developent Fund) is made available to Trinidad and Tobago Development Finance Company (TTDFC) for onlending to small and medium-sized companies,
- ECU 2.5 m from risk capital resources, are advanced to TTDFC for making equity participation in small and medium-sized enterprises, and
- ECU 500 000, also from risk capital resources, will be used for an equity participation in TTDFC, in the name of the European Community, it is the first equity participation in the name of the Community in a Caribbean ACP countrys development finance corporation.
The global loan is the fifth to TTDFC; out of the previous for loans 55 smaller-scale industrial and tourism ventures were financed.
Uganda: ECU 2 million for small and medium-sized entreprises
The European Investment Bank is granting a global loan of ECU 2 m to support small and medium-sized enterprises in the industrial, agroindustrial and tourism sectors in Uganda.
The funds, from risk capital resources, are advanced in form of a conditional loan for 15 years at 2% to Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) for onlending to the Development Finance Company of Uganda (DFCU).
UDC is a wholly government-owned holding company and, together with Commonwealth Development Corporation (London), DEG-Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Beteiligungen in Entwicklungslandern (Germany), and International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group) one of four equal shareholders in DFCU.
Three new ACP Ambassadors have recently presented their credentials to the Presidents of the Council and the Commission of the European Communities.
Burundi. Julien Nahayo, the new Ambassador from Burundi, holds a masters degree in Arts from the University of Paris. From 1975 to 1982 he represented his country in Algeria and Egypt and from] 986 to 1989 in Rwanda and Canada. In the mean-time he was director-general of external relations and cooperation. He is 49.
Gabon. Michel Teale holds a degree in political sciences and a diploma from the Institute of International Studies in Toulouse. Aged 39, he was director of the Centre Gabonais du commerce exteur from 1977 to 1989.
Niger. Adamou Zada holds a law degree and a diploma in international relations. Aged 40, he has been head of international cooperation, adviser to the Niger embassy in Peking and Ambassador to Kuwait before taking up his post.
Before joining the new Convention
Dieter Frisch, the Director-General for Development, led the Commission Delegation which included director Giovanni Livi to the Namibian independence ceremonies (21 March), took a personal message from Commission President Jacques Delors and was received by Sam Nujoma, the President of the Republic of Namibia, on 23 March.
President Nujoma took advantage of the occasion by announcing his Governments intention of applying to join LomV without delay.
Negotiations for the Convention provided for Namibia to join as soon as it applied to do so after independence, so that negotiations with the Namibian Government will only deal with specific problems the country raises and which are not already covered by provisions in the agreement. In particular, Namibia will be looking for a quota for its beef and veal.
Exploratory talks could well start in April.
Accession to LomV means a joint decision by the ACP-EEC Council of Ministers. Namibia will be the 69th ACP State.
Dieter Frisch announced that the Community would go on financing development schemes from the Commission budget until Namibia could accede to the financial resources of LomV and the 1990 budget indeed provides a specific allocation of ECU 19 m for this purpose.
The question of the negotiation of a fisheries agreement between the Community and Namibia was also raised. The Namibian Government wants to declare its exclusive 200-mile fishing zone as soon as possible, get the stocks (inevitably bady affected by unregulated fishing to date) assessed and then start negotiating fishing agreements. Mr Frisch reassured those whom he met that the Community was looking for fishing arrangements that were strictly compatible with the reconstitution and rational management of Namibias marine resources.
He also held talks with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ben Amathila, the Minister of Finance, Mr Otto Herrigel, and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, who replaced Minister Theo-Ben Guirab.
Vice-President Marin visits Southern Africa...
Manuel Marin, Vice-President of the Commission and Commissioner for Development paid an official visit to Zambia, Mozambique and Namibia from 31 January to 7 February 1990.
He also stopped off in South Africa, where he held talks with the heads of organisations in charge of running the Communitys apartheid victim support programme (the South African Council of Churches, the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference, Kagiso Trust and union organisations).
In Zambia, attendance at the I 0th annual SADCC conference on SADCC: The Second Decade. Entreprise, Skills and Productivity (Lusaka, 31 January to 2 February) was on the agenda.
This was particularly significant as it marked the organisations first decade of existence and was therefore the opportunity to take stock of achievements. It was also a chance to produce a strategy for the 90s, in particular in the light of trends in the peace process in the region and the imminent accession of SADCCs 10th member, Namibia. The fact that Mr Marin was present meant the Community could reassert its commitment to the aims which have been SADCCs ever since it was first set up.
Bilateral contact with the Zambian authorities included talks with President Kenneth Kaunda, the Prime Minister, General Masheke, and Finance Ministers, Gibson Chigaga.
In Mozambique, Mr Marin was received by President Joachim Chissano, PM Mario da Graca Machungo and Trade Minister Daniel Filipe Tembe.
The trip to Namibia included a meeting with Sam Nujoma, then Head of SWAPO, and the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Martti Ahtisaari.
The talks with the authorities of these three countries covered the political situation and regional and national cooperation between the Community and Southern Africa, with particular reference to the implementation of LomV.
...the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
Mr Marin also visited Washington on 26 and 27 February to meet leaders of the IBRD and the IMF.
He talked, in particular. with Mr Camdessus, the Director-Gencral of the IMF, Mr Qureishi, the first Vice-President of the World Bank, and the Vice-President for Africa, Mr Jaycox.
The point of the Commissionerss visit was to establish a first operational contact on the rationalisation of the developing countries economies with the Bretton Woods institutions. The latest Lomonvention between the ACP and EEC countries, signed on 15 December, in fact contains a new chapter (with a specific financial allocation) on support for structural adjustment. The Commission intends establishing a specific autonomous Community approach to the problem and organising coordination with the other international funders, particularly the World Bank and the IMF.
...the Solomon Islands
Mr Marin also paid an official visit to the Solomon Islands on 23 and 24 March 1990, where he met the Governor General, Sir George Lepping, the Prime Minister, the Hon. Solomon Mamaloni, and the Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon. Columbus Abe.
Mr Marin was visiting the South Pacific region, where he attended the ACP-EEC Joint Assembly Meeting in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea, 1922 March 1990). Cooperation between the Community and Solomon Islands has been actively developed, within the framework of the Lomonventions, since the country became independent in 1978. Prime Minister Mamaloni underlined in his meeting with Vice-President Marin the areas in which his government intends to develop its cooperation efforts: forestry, fisheries, transport facilities, infrastructure and industrial development; furthermore, the human resources programme currently underway with the EC is to be continued.
As far as future cooperation was concerned, Vice-President Marin informed Mr Mamaloni that the national indicative programme for the Solomon Islands under LomV will consist of ECU 21.5 million (62.5 million S.I. dollars). Solomon Islands will also be able to benefit from the other instuments of EEC/ACP cooperation such as Stabex.
Mr Marin expressed the interest of the EEC in developing regional cooperation between the Pacific countries in order to progress in the vital sectors of tourism, transport, telecommunications and fisheries. He confirmed that negotiations will start shortly between the EEC and the Forum Fisheries Agency (the South Pacific Regional Organisation for Fisheries), in order to establish a multilateral fisheries agreement.
While participating in the ACP/EEC Council of Ministers, in Suva, Mr Marin also paid an official visit to Fiji, where he met the President of the Republic of Fiji, Ratu Sir Penaia Ganilau, the Prime Minister, Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara; and the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Josevata Kamikamica.
Vice-President Marin and the Government of Fiji confirmed their wish to cooperate in order to improve the economic performance of the South Pacific countries, and expressed their satisfaction at the state of cooperation between Fiji and the EEC since independence in 1970. The Fijian authorities underlined the main areas in which the Government intends to develop its cooperation efforts, namely the promotion of private entreprise, infrastructure support, rural development and agricultural diversification; the Finance Minister, Mr Kamikamica, stressed the Governments policy of trade incentives and the possibilities available for joint ventures with EEC manufacturers and companies.
As concerns future cooperation, Mr Marin underlined the good economic prospects for Fiji and the opportunities offered by LomV in areas such as trade, private investment and tourism, as well as the possibility of a multilateral agreement between the Community and South Pacific countries in the fisheries sector. Mr Marin informed the Fiji Government that the national indicative programme for Fiji under the LomV Convention would consist of ECU 22.0 m (40 million Fiji dollars) in grants. Fiji would also be able to benefit from other cooperation instruments such as Stabex and loans from the European Investment Bank, and it is also one of the main beneficiaries of the Sugar Protocol of the Lomonvention.
During his official visit, Vice-President Marin met the Director of the Fiji Trade and Investment Board, Mr Surendra Sharma. The FTIB is a statutory body that promotes trade and investment and is currently promoting internationally the newly created Fiji Tax Free Zone facility. Mr Marin also visited the educational telecommunications network of the University of the South Pacific, and the EEC-funded Namosi road project in the main island of Viti Levu.
ERICH WIRSING RETIRES
After more than 30 years at the Commission, Erich Wirsing, Director at the Directorate-General for Development, has decided to retire. He began his career in the von der Groeben cabinet in the late 1950s, helping to shape the Communitys competition policy, and today he sums up the ground covered with a quotation from the then leader of the employers in one of the Member States - I have always arranged agreements when I thought it was a good idea and the Commission isnt going to stop me.
Mr Wirsing, who was very interested in development? then moved to DG VIII, becoming Head of Division and later Head of various Directorates, most recently Western and Central Africa and the Caribbean.
With a deep understanding of the major issues, he put his commitment and his strength into working in this area. He influenced and helped set up the Lomodel and he was behind the designing of the regional fund. And it was he who developed and negotiated the new LomII principles policy dialogue and sectoral and regional concentration of cooperation, to name but two- which guide us still. Erich Wirsing was also the first editor of The Courier at the time when the journal began to come into its own, and the present layout reflects many of his ideas.
His knowledge and experience and the confidence he was able to inspire in his partners in development have gained him their friendship and respect as an understanding and impartial negotiator.
The Commission is losing one of its great administrators.
The Community and Seychelles initial a new fisheries protocol
On 17 January, the Community and Seychelles initialled a new protocol laying down the fishing entitlements and financial compensation provided for in a fishing agreement which the two parties have signed for a three-year period starting on 18 January this year.
The two parties had signed an agreement on 28 October 1987 and the new protocol replaces the protocol attached to that agreement.
It provides for 40 tuna vessels to fish off the Seychelles coast for the three years duration of the protocol, with financial compensation from the Community of ECU 5900000, the shipowners having to pay dues of ECU 20 per tonne.
The agreement also involves the Community taking part in the financing of a scientific and technical programme in Seychelles to improve both the knowledge of marine stocks in this part of the Indian Ocean around these islands and the administrative structures in the fishing sector in Seychelles. This Community contribution will amount to ECU 2 700000.
The Community will also make it easier for Seychelles nationals to get into establishments in the Member States and supply them with study grants and practical training in the various scientific, economic and technical aspects of fisheries for this purpose (maximum of ECU 300 000).
16th General Assembly of European NGOs
The 16th Annual General Assembly of European NGOs active in the development field was held from 3 to 6 April at the Borschette Centre, Brussels. NGO and Commission representatives reviewed their cooperation in 1989 and discussed prospects for the future.
The main theme of the Assembly this year was Europe 1993 in solidarity with the Third World. The NGO 2001 Prize, instituted by the European NGOs in 1988, was awarded this year to the Human Rights Commission of El Savador.
Cooperation between NGOs and the Community, which began 15 years ago, is the embodiment of the Communitys support for the publics solidarity with the poorest sections of the population in the Third World. It includes the cofinancing of microprojects in developing countries and projects to increase public awareness of development issues in Europe, the channelling of food aid and emergency aid through NGOs, and assistance to NGO coordination to help them work more efficiently.
EEC/NGO relations are based on mutual trust
Microprojects in different domains constitute the main area of cooperation between the Community and NGOs.
The Commission believes that the multiplier effect of these small projects is considerable and that their success is attributable above all to the keenness and personal commitment of NGO staff and their local partners in LDCS, NGOs freedom from external pressures and their relatively small size and resulting autonomy and administrative flexibility. This mix of qualities generally makes for efficient, speedy and flexible project preparation and implementation.
The Commission has pledged itself to respect characteristic features of NGOs such as autonomy and pluralism. The Commission has great confidence in the commitment and competence of these organisations, which is generally amply justified.
Areas of EEC-NGO cooperation
In 1989 Community aid for NGO operations totalled about ECU 266 million. It breaks down as follows:
- ECU 72m to cofinance microprojects in developing
- ECU 8 m to cofinance projects to raise public awareness in Europe;
- ECU 114.3 m for food aid;
- ECU 4.9 m for the purchase of food products by NGOs;
- ECU 19.7 m for emergency aid;
- ECU 4.4 m for refugees and displaced persons;
- ECU 5 m for NGOs operating in Chile;
- ECU 2.2 m to combat drug abuse;
- ECU 30m to help the victims of apartheid;
- ECU 4.7 m for the people in the Front Line States;
- ECU 0.6 m for NGOs operating in the West Bank and Gaza;
Cooperation in some of these fields is of recent date: the budget headings for Chile and for the victims of apartheid were created in 1986; those for drug abuse control and for the West Bank and Gaza in 1987; and that for the Front Line States in 1988. This expansion reflects the NGOs growing ability to operate in different sectors, and in particular in fields where the Communitys official cooperation is often excluded.
Cofinancing of microprojects in the developing countries and of projects to raise public awareness in 1989
Cofinancing started in 1976, making it one of the oldest forms of EEC-NGO cooperation. Over the years the appropriation has gradually risen from ECU 2.5 million in 1976 to ECU 80 million in 1989. As in previous years, the whole 1989 appropriation has been committed, thanks to the quality and quantity of the NGO projects submitted for Community financing.
Concerning projects in developing countries, in all 832 applications for cofinancing (total request ECU 146 million) were processed over the year. Of these, 443 were cofinanced (ECU 72.0 million); 157 applications (ECU 34.5 million) were carried over to 1990. 232 applications (ECU 39.6 million) were withdrawn or rejected.
As usual, the project content is extremely varied but continues to fall into three main sectors: rural development, training and health. Projects remain small and effective, and are mostly implemented at village level (the average Community contribution per project was ECU 160000). The main priority is to meet the basic needs of the poorest sections of the population. The beneficiaries, who often make a contribution in kind to their project, undertake to maintain and manage it themselves when external aid comes to an end.
Of the projects cofinanced in 1988, 43% were in sub-Saharan Africa, 31% in Latin America and 20% in Asia.
As for the projects to raise public awareness, 103 projects were cofinanced for a total Community contribution of ECU 8 million. The main topics were: general development issues, food and agricultural problems and southern Africa and apartheid. The priority target groups were the general public and schools.
In comparison with 1988, the 1989 cofinancing of NGO projects in these latter two areas has made no progress, due to stagnation in available budget resources. The increase of credits in the Community budget for 1990, thanks to the support of European Parliament, will however lead to a new impulse in NGO cofinancing this year.
EEC proposals on tropical products
At the mid-way meeting (Montreal and Geneva), Ministers invited their representatives in the tropical products negotiating group to establish the procedures for the rest of the negotiations. This was done on 15 February.
They meant that each participant was committed to communicating, by 15 March, both a proposal and a summary of that proposal to reduce, eliminate and consolidate customs duties. The Community accordingly provided the GATT Secretariat with precise details (line by line) of its proposal on 16 March, setting out the following tariff reductions:
- 100 % for tropical industrial raw materials and non-processed
tropical agricultural produts;
- 35 % for semi-finished tropical products;
- 50% for finished tropical products.
The illustration covers a total of 313 lines corresponding (1988) to imports from all destinations of a value of ECU 10.4 billion (including ECU 7.7 billion for preferential imports, including those under GSP and ECU 2.9 billion from the ACP States).
Application of the present customs duties would yield ECU 690 million and the Communitys illustration suggests that this would go down to ECU 240 million.
On the non-tariff side, the illustration starts with a gradual decrease in internal consumer taxes on tropical beverages (coffee, tea and cocoa). The trading partners are invited to demonstrate clearly that the said taxes really do have an effect on trade in these products. At all events, any reorganisation of internal taxes will be carried out in the light of the harmonisation of indirect taxation as part of the creation of the Communitys large internal market.
The non-associated third countries not eligible for the Community offer are, in order, Brazil, Colombia and various industrialised nations (Japan and the USA). The Community wishes to underline the importance it attaches in this sector to the interests of the least developed countries and of those with which it has contractual relations providing for preferential arrangements.
It is worth noting that the illustration fails to mention a number of products which may be substituted for the Communitys agricultural products and must still be negotiated in the agricultural group. However, these products are not necessarily to stay outside the negotiations on tropical products. Indeed, when the time comes, the Community will look at the question, in the light of its partners involvement and contributions, to see whether it is possible to offer additional concessions for these products.
The Community had already brought in autonomous reductions in its customs tariff in July 1989. It wishes to point out that it intends to continue its drive only if its partners are also willing to contribute by opening their markets. The illustration will therefore be developed, consolidated or reduced in the light of the contribution which they make.