Mauritius requests EU to extend sugar quota beyond 2017
ACP states are dismayed at the decision to abolish sugar quotas in 2017 as prices are expected to decline drastically as soon as the quota is removed. (Image: Mauritius Tourist Guide)
The president of Mauritius, Rajkeswur Purryag, expressed concerns regarding the impending abolishment of the sugar quota, warning that sugar production in the EU would expand significantly and prices would fall as soon as the quota was removed.
“Such projections mean that only the most competitive producers will be able to survive with a price which is expected to be around €400 thus the need to consider reviewing the decision to abolish sugar quotas,” said the President, during the 11th Regional Meeting of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) for East Africa.
The ACP-EU JPA regional meeting is crucial as Mauritius is facing another difficult crossroads, five years after the dismantling of the sugar protocol in 2009. The previous market regulation which ran to 2015 has only been extended by two years to the end of September 2017, signaling that the EU will no longer postpone the decision to abolish sugar quotas.
ACP states are dismayed at the decision to abolish sugar quotas in 2017 as prices are expected to decline drastically as soon as the quota is removed. In fact, the European Commission’s own impact study forecast that prices would decrease by some 45% when compared to 2012 market prices.
Rajkeswur Purryag added that as the restructuring, modernisation and transformation of the country’s sugar industry have not been finished because of the unprecedented 2007/08 food, fuel and financial crises, consequently Mauritius would suffer if the quotas are abolished according to schedule.
Noting that the island’s developing economy depends on the sugar cane industry, Mauritius is looking for the help of the ACP Sugar Protocol countries to provide some available resources to complete its modernisation plan so as to build its sugarcane industry’s image as viable and profitable.
Also, Razack Mahomed, Speaker of the Mauritius National Assembly, said the ACP-EU JPA regional meeting is an opportunity to improve relations and establish better communication and collaboration among members of the JPA at regional level.
The ACP-EU JPA regional meeting has been organized from February 12 till February 14 where the parliamentarians have the right to discuss and suggest common proposals intended to cover areas of common interest.
The meeting allows the participants to know the specificities of small islands, their vulnerabilities, the aspirations of their people as well as the measures taken to improve their standards of living and make their respective countries more competitive on the global market.
The agenda comprises three working sessions on issues ranging from regional integration and cooperation, peace and security challenges in the region, to the services industry and its contribution to development.