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Friday, 04 February 2011

Pacific: Renewed Impetus Sought For EPA With EU

The Pacific region's top trade officials, experts and Ministers gathered this week in Apia, Samoa, to deliberate on key issues surrounding negotiations with the European Union on a fair and comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Pacific ACP (PACP) Trade Officials began discussions which formed the basis for advice to Pacific ACP Trade Ministers, who met later in the week. "These are going to be very challenging meetings, and very important ones," said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Tuiloma Neroni Slade. "We are at a turning point where we must rally our efforts with renewed impetus, as one region, and as guided by our Leaders, to seek a truly mutually beneficial agreement with the European Union." With the exception of the Caribbean, which has signed a comprehensive EPA with the EU, ACP regions are facing difficulties in concluding negotiations across the board.