The European Business Council for Africa

DG TRADE online event

Dialogue with EU Businesses on Economic Partnership Agreements

19 October 2022


The European Business Council for Africa (EBCAM) actively participated in the 1st DG TRADE’s Dialogue with the European Private Sector on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) online on 19 October 2022.

EBCAM supported this initiative as an opportunity to discuss constraints, and needs that European Businesses face when investing in / trading with EPA countries, particularly in Africa.

EBCAM President Etienne Giros stressed out four main axes that the European Union should aim to focus to facilitate private sector’s investment in the African continent:

  1. Financing the private sector and diminish loan costs, guarantee risks and give funding access to SMEs
  2. Revision of the initiative on EU Human Rights Due Diligence Legislation for companies when they have to compete new actors in the region who are not subject to these regulations
  3. Simplification of the EU procedures with less bureaucracy and information campaigns to increase the knowledge of EU companies and effectiveness of projects
  4. Regulation of the visa issue for African residents who want to visit the EU

EBCAM Secretary General Alexandros Spachis continued highlighting specific needs of the European private sector that came out from the EU-Africa Business Forum (EABF22) last February where European with African business organisations cooperated productively to identify common challenges and opportunities and EBCAM played a vital role toward this direction. He also mentioned the necessity to increase the overall knowledge of the private sector concerning EPAs and the important role that EU Delegations can play in the future when they are more responsive and accessible to EU businesses.

Vangelis Kamaris, International Business Development Director of METKA (Greece) and member of the board of Hellenic-African Chamber of Commerce and Development/EBCAM, presented in a nutshell key investment challenges that companies face in most African countries and shared his valuable knowledge from the energy sector describing the bottlenecks of the EU bureaucratic and African politico economical systems as inhibiting factors of investments.

Lastly, Christoph Kannengiesser CEO of Afrika Verein, the German-African Business Association (Germany) and member of the Board of EBCAM, paid particular attention to the need for business diversification, de-risking of the business investment environment, avoidance of new regulations from the EU side that can have a negative impact on EU companies and; the need to allocate Global Gateway funds for sustainable development to EU and African businesses.

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