The EU's Everything But Arms Initiative and the Least-developed Countries
Using a computable general equilibrium simulation model and partial equilibrium simulations, based on the SMART model, the paper attempts to assess the aggregate worldwide distribution of gains and losses of the EU’s Everything But Arms (EBA) initiative for both LDCs and third developing countries under different scenarios. The study shows moderate welfare and trade gains from the EBA initiative. The largest gains are recorded for sub-Saharan Africa and the EU sugar market is the single most important source of change. The effects on the EU itself are minimal, as the increased market access for LDCs comes mostly at the expense of other preference-receiving countries, although the changes are modest. The analysis does not fully account for non-tariff barriers that may preclude LDCs from increasing their exports to the extent predicted by our analysis. Furthermore, in the longer term, supply-side factors constraints rather than market access limitations may be the more important factors and need the urgent attention of the international community.