Yentyl Williams, Founder & President of ACP YPN presented at the high level symposium on the implications of TTIP for the trade and investment of ACP countries, 24th May 2016, at the London Schools of Economics (LSE), London. The event was organised by the Ramphal Institute and the LSE in association with the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat, GIZ, the Africa Leadership Centre of King’s College London, War on Want and CUTS International. The symposium provided information to African, Caribbean and Pacific policy-makers to help them increase their understanding of the direct and indirect implications of TTIP for their countries’ trade and investment. Here is the full programme and here is a summary of Yentyl’s intervention.
Yentyl presented on ‘TTIP & Trade for All – the EU’s new trade and investment strategy – & the implications for ACP countries‘. She presented on the panel looking into ‘How TTIP might affect the Trade & Investment of ACP and vulnerable Commonwealth states.’ Here presentation began with a quote from Sir Ramphal‘s memoirs, Glimpses of a Global Life, (2014): “The challenge that faces developing countries is not merely the challenge of economic development, but the fact that in failure lies the danger of returning to a new dependency – a new kind of colonialism – deriving from economic weakness.” In her view, this rightfully underscores the challenge that ACP countries face today.
The presentation focused on (i) how the Trade strategy discusses TTIP with regard to economic development in general; (ii) how the Strategy discusses TTIP vis-à-via ACP countries and (iii), TTIP in relation to the WTO and SDGs. Yentyl concluded with three recommendations:
- TTIP and the other emerging MRTAs must be a wake up call for ACP countries to get its house in order with regards to their own economic integration agenda.
- ACP countries need to address their trade competitiveness challenges by addressing the supply side constraints that have prevented diversifying exports, led to a dependence on preferential tariffs and lack of competitiveness in global markets.
- Insofar as ACP countries’ ability to influence the rules that govern the global trade is enhanced in a multilateral context, ACP countries must continue to advocate and work towards the strengthening of the multilateral system, to avoid a situation where the rules affecting ACP countries’ trade are set in discussions in which ACP countries are not party to. Complementary to this, ACP countries must engage the EU and the US on the issues being negotiated in the TTIP and the possible direct and indirect implications for economic transformation.
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