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Friday, 01 June 2012

Pacific region looks forward to EC feedback on EPAs

As proposals on the EPAs have not yet received any formal written comment from the European Commission (EC), Majuro, the Marshall Islands/The Pacific bloc of the ACP group have expressed concern and are pressing to receive an official response.  Tonga’s Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries and the Pacific ACP Lead Spokesperson, Hon. Isileli Pulu, underlines that the Pacific region “remains committed to concluding negotiations for a comprenhensive EPA with the EU by 2012.”
The EC must still provide formal written comments on the draft legal text, the development cooperation chapter, and the market access offers that were submitted by the Pacific ACP region in July 2011.
"Eight Pacific ACP states have submitted market access offers to the European Commission with another four Pacific ACP states intending to submit their offers over the coming months. The Pacific region also submitted a revised legal text after carrying out the relevant national consultations”, highlights Mr. Pulu.
Although the last formal, face-to-face negotiation session between the Pacific ACP bloc and the EC was in 2009, and the Pacific ACP bloc has been requesting further such negotiation sessions since, Mr. Pulu recalls that “[…]these have not eventuated, although other ACP regions have had numerous meetings with the EC at various levels over the same period.”

Source: Bilaterals