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EPA: EU trade talks with Pacific stalled

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Monday, 28 October 2013

EPA: EU trade talks with Pacific stalled

A Pacific Trade delegation was in Brussels from 21 October to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). However, negotiations endured another blow, with reports of a meeting between the Pacific Trade delegation in Brussels and the European Union (EU) Commissioner Karel de Gucht not going ahead as scheduled. The nation’s Trade Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum assured that the European Union did not suspended EPAs negotiations in Brussels. He explained that the meeting with the EU Trade Commissioner did not go ahead because of the issues that were identified in the trade officials meeting, and the fact that Pacific countries need to regroup as a region, Islands Business informs.
A the end of the first consultation meeting of the Eminent Persons Group of member states of the ACP Group held in Apia, Samoa from 17-19 October 2013, Samoa’s Ambassador to the European Union, Fatumanava III Dr Paolelei Luteru said that the possibility of wrapping up the drawn out trade negotiations between the Pacific and the European Union is fading. The purpose of this high level meeting is to define the future outlooks of the ACP group and trade relationship with the European Union (EU).
Fatumanava III remarks echo those of the Solomon Islands National Trade Negotiations Envoy Robert Sisilo, who earlier this month said after almost 10 years of negotiations, the prospect of concluding a comprehensive EPA between the Pacific Island Countries and the EU remains as elusive as ever. EPAs are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific regions engaged in a regional economic integration process.

Source: Islands Business