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PNG and the EU renew their commitment to enhance trade relations

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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

PNG and the EU renew their commitment to enhance trade relations

On 15 April 2011 in Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), EU and Papua New Guinea representatives held the first meeting of the Pacific-EU Trade Committee, in charge of the implementation of the Interim Partnership Agreement. This was the first EPA trade committee meeting ever – the one for the Caribbean region is scheduled for June. Both parties welcomed this significant step in enhancing the trade and development partnership between PNG and the EU. PNG was represented by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Fisheries. The EU was represented by Peter Thompson, Director for Development and Economic Partnership Agreements at the Trade Directorate-General of the European Commission. He indicated the EU remains committed not only to support PNG in implementing the Agreement, but also to strengthen it further by deepening its coverage – to include provisions on development, services, investments and sustainable management of fisheries – and by widening its membership to other Pacific Island States. The EPA with the Pacific region, also covering Papua New Guinea, is the first EPA that has completed the process of ratification on the EU side. The Agreement was initialled in 2007, and then signed in 2009, by Papua New Guinea and Fiji. It has been provisionally applied between PNG and the EU since December 2009. It grants unconditional duty free – quota free access to EU markets, while committing Papua New Guinea and Fiji to an asymmetric opening of their markets. On top of this, the interim EPA ensures favourable conditions to Pacific countries in terms of rules of origin for fisheries.

Source: European Commission