After stalling for some time, negotiations for an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the European Union (EU) on the one hand and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), Mozambique and Angola on the other have recently restarted. According to an article published in Business Day on 10 February 2011, Xavier Carim – Deputy Director-General for international trade at the Department of Trade and Industry – is reported to have indicated that the EPA “should strike a balance between the levels of market access, regional harmonisation of rules, customs co-operation and safety, enforcement of intellectual property laws, competition, investment and procurement.”
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), SECTION27 and Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) South Africa voice support for their partners across the world opposing provisions in a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between India and the European Union (EU) that threaten the sustainable supply of affordable medicines to millions of people in the developing world.
Letter to the High Commissioner for India to South Africa: Our concerns regarding Indian trade negotiations with EU.
This letter explains that the prospect of making new ARVs available in South Africa at affordable prices is under threat because of events unfolding in India. In particular, pressure is being applied by the European Union on the Indian government to sign a bilateral trade agreement that will stifle competition on essential medicines still under patent.