Seychelles' Cabinet discusses proposed positions for upcoming EU-ESA negotiations

General |Author: Betymie Bonnelame | June 14, 2024, Friday @ 10:08| 4648 views

Under the agreement, Seychelles has to encourage exportation towards its destination for almost the same conditions the EU offers. (Seychelles Nation)

(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles' Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday discussed the island nation's proposed positions in the forthcoming European Union and Eastern Southern Africa negotiations on the liberalisation of the provision of certain services.

Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and Madagascar signed the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Eastern and Southern Africa in August 2009, and applied provisionally in May 2012. Comoros signed the agreement in 2017 after the consent of the European Parliament in 2013.

Vice President Ahmed Afif said in a press briefing on Thursday, that the agreement "makes provision for the five countries to export their products and services via the EU to other markets with favourable conditions. Like Seychelles, we export canned tuna and we get favourable conditions such as we do not pay taxes on entry and there is no quota on the quantity we are bringing in."

Afif said that on the other hand, as a country, Seychelles has to encourage exportation towards its destination for almost the same condition that the EU is offering.

"This comes with some difficulties among certain countries for certain products coming into the country without paying taxes. This will impact our revenue, so we decided to discuss with them what is permissible under the agreement that can sustain us. We are not on the same level as them and we would not be able to do the same as them in everything," he explained.

Afif added that Seychelles needs to agree with them on what the country "needs to protect and what can be done under the agreement but for others we will make concessions and compromise. This is the discussion that we have agreed upon."

He gave examples of items like fuel and transport on which there will always be taxes on them and they have accepted this.

"There will always be VAT (Value Added Tax) on most products entering the country but they can say that there are certain areas Seychelles can agree on making concessions for example on dairy products that we are not producing. We can review the conditions under which they are entering the country. Also certain pharmaceutical products but we cannot offer equally what they are offering," said Afif. 

Tags: interim Economic Partnership Agreement, European Parliament


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