REQUEST FOR TENDER
SCOPING STUDY ON THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PACIFIC-ACP STATE (PACPS) PARTIES ON THE INCLUSION OF SERVICES AND INVESTMENT IN THE EU-PACIFIC INTERIM ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT (IEPA)
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The Pacific-ACP States (PACPS) refers to the fourteen member states of the Pacific Islands Forum plus Timor Leste, which are parties to the Georgetown Agreement establishing the Group of African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States in 1975. The ACP consists of 79 countries, with over 1.5 billion people. The PACPS comprises the following states: Cook Islands, Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Trade and development arrangements between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries are designed to facilitate the ACP’s integration into the global economy through gradual trade liberalization and improved trade-related cooperation. They are set within the framework of the EU-ACP Partnership Agreement (known as the Cotonou agreement) that governs relations between the EU and the ACP countries. They open up EU markets fully and immediately, whereas ACP partners open only partially to EU imports, over transitioning periods.
The IEPA is a development-oriented free-trade agreement that provides duty-free, quota-free access for the four EPA Pacific countries’ exports to the EU. In its current form, it only covers reciprocal trade liberalization of trade in goods. Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji have been (provisionally) applying the IEPA since 2009 and 2014, respectively. Their exports to the EU represent most of the exports from the fourteen countries in the Pacific region. Samoa and the Solomon Islands have been applying to the EPA since 2018 and 2020 respectively. The level of tariff liberalization to EU imports for each of the four Pacific EPA partners depends on their level of development and their sensitive sectors:
- PNG has liberalized 88% of EU imports since 2008.
- Fiji will liberalize 87% of EU exports over 15 years.
- Samoa will liberalize 80% of EU exports over 20 years.
- Solomon Islands will liberalize 83% of EU exports over 18 years.
In 2018, Tonga informed the European Commission that it wished to join the EPA. Timor Leste submitted its formal communication in 2020 and most recently, Tuvalu also formally conveyed its interest to accede to the IEPA to the European Commission in June 2022. The following play an important role in this:
- duty-free, quota-free market access to the EU is very important for Pacific countries’ export potential
- removing tariffs on intermediary goods and machinery from the EU means cheaper inputs for Pacific countries and support to both industrial development and the countries’ integration into global value chains.
- under the EPA, Pacific countries can protect their agriculture, emerging and infant industries by: ӿ not lowering tariffs on certain products. ӿ using safeguard measures to block a sudden surge in imports if needed. ӿ taking additional measures to protect food security. In addition, several EU development cooperation programs in Pacific countries are linked to the EPA. They aim to facilitate tax and customs reforms, improve the business environment and improve Pacific countries’ competitiveness.
The EU-Pacific Comprehensive EPA negotiations were suspended in 2016 with the withdrawal of Papua New Guinea and lackluster progress in the overall negotiations, particularly in the key area of sustainable fisheries management. During the seventh and eighth Meeting of the EU-Pacific interim Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) Trade Committee, the PACP parties expressed their interest to widen the scope of the IEPA to include the services component as a recommended way forward.
SCOPE OF WORK
The consultant will carry out the responsibilities and tasks as set out under the Terms of Reference (ToR) document which can be downloaded from www.tenders.net/forumsec.
HOW TO APPLY
|Submissions should be titled:
Request for Tender: SCOPING STUDY ON THE IMPLICATIONS FOR PACIFIC-ACP STATE (PACPS) PARTIES ON THE INCLUSION OF SERVICES AND INVESTMENT IN THE EU-PACIFIC INTERIM ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT (IEPA)
Method of Submissions:
Submissions must be forwarded in PDF format following the instructions at www.tenders.net/forumsec
Note: Tenders must be submitted with clear labeling of the technical offer and the financial offer in the “Response Template”. Bidders are requested to sign the Declaration Form. The electronically submitted documents should be converted to PDF format.
Deadline for Submissions:
Submissions need to reach the Secretariat by 4 pm, Friday 9 September 2022.
Late or incomplete tenders will not be considered.
Questions and Answers
All queries or requests for information must be submitted via the Question and Answer Forum at www.tenders.net/forumsec. Tenderers may submit questions in writing to the mentioned Question and Answer Forum before the stated “deadline for requesting clarifications” by 4.00 pm, Thursday 8 September 2022. The Secretariat has no obligation to provide clarification after this date.
Note: The Secretariat will not be responsible for non-receipt/non-delivery of the Bid documents due to any reason whatsoever.
Any complaints regarding the Secretariat’s tender must be directed to the following email: Tender.Complaints@forumsec.org. This email address will forward your complaint to a person that is independent and removed from the tender process. Complaints must be well founded and should not be used as a mechanism for notifying displeasure with the outcome of a tender award. Further information on making a complaint can be found on the Policies & Information page at http://tenders.forumsec.org.
In the event that further information is required by the Secretariat in relation to the tender for consultancy, the Secretariat reserves the right to seek the required information without the need for calling for resubmission of proposals.