no more eggs in one basket
LAST week we reported that Lesotho and other African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) beneficiaries face the prospect of losing their competitive advantage if a trade agreement between the United States and Pacific Rim countries is consummated.
however, it has since been revealed that the 12-country trade agreement, called the Trans Pacific Partnership, fell through owing to a logjam between Canada and Mexico over automobile manufacturing.
The Trans Pacific Partnership would have reduced tariffs and trade rules among the countries involved which include Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Australia.
It would also have allowed very competitive economies such as Vietnam to do more business with the us under the same privileges AGOA beneficiaries currently receive.
Before we pop the champagne to celebrate, the deal could still be finalised and implemented since the negotiations remain ongoing. It is thus only a matter of time before the deal materialises with AGOA beneficiaries likely to be caught flatfooted.
This is why Lesotho cannot afford to put her eggs in one basket when it comes to trade. our dependence on Agoa could become this nation’s Achilles’ heel if the benefits of the facility dissipate in the future.
As reported in this edition, European union (Eu) Ambassador to Lesotho, Michael Doyle has pointed out that this nation is not fully harnessing its trade agreement with the bloc under the Southern African Development Community Economic-european union Partnership Agreement (SADC-EU EPA).
Dr Doyle called on the government of Lesotho and private businesses to work harmoniously to increase the value of goods that they export to the 500 million people strong Eu market.
We couldn’t agree more with the ambassador and hopefully government and the private sector have taken heed.