Ministers from fifty-seven developing countries have been deciding their attitude to proposals for a new trade and aid pact with the European Economic Community.
Ministers from fifty-seven developing countries have been deciding their attitude to proposals for a new trade and aid pact with the European Economic Community. The five-year arrangement would replace the Lome Convention which links the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries with the E.E.C.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting in ACP House in Brussels follows a meeting last June when the E.E.C. made what it considers to be its last offer for a successor to the Lome Convention which ??? in March next year (1980). But the ACP countries say that the aid offered is not enough.
The offer is the equivalent of about 7.8 billion dollars (3.5 billion pounds) over the five years of the new pact. After the first of the meeting's two days the ministers were reported to be close to accepting the proposals. The existing convention provides free access to the E.E.C. for 99 and a half percent of exports from the developing countries. One of them is Sierra Leone, whose President Dr. Siaka Stevens met the President of the European Commission Mr. Roy Jenkins... An average of over 75 percent of Sierra Leone's exports go to E.E.C. members.
Through the Lome Convention Sierra leone has developed strong ties with the European Community, participating in financial and technical co-operation schemes, and in 'Stabex' which attempts to stabilise the prices of exports from the developing countries. But while the ACP nations had reservations about E.E.C.'s proposals to replace the Lome Convention, agreement was expected in time for a signing ceremony late in October.