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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Spotlight on trade agendas for ACP-EU Joint Trade meeting

Senior officials and Ministers for Trade from ACP governments convene in Brussels this week to tackle crucial issues regarding trade relations between their countries and the European Union. The series of high level meetings culminates with the annual ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee this Friday (26 October 2012).  
Opening the meeting on 22 October 2012, ACP Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas outlined four main agenda items for Permanent Secretaries and Directors of Trade to discuss, before setting recommendations for their ministers to consider later in the week.  Key issues include the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU; EU trade policies and how they affect ACP countries – particularly the EU’s Communication on Trade, Growth and Development; the WTO process; and trade capacity building projects. Obstacles to trade, such as non-tariff barriers or the erosion of EU preferences arising from favours granted to third countries will also be up for discussion.
Two days of discussions at the senior official level will provide a basis for the ACP Trade Ministerial meetings later in the week. WTO’s Director General of Trade Mr. Pascal Lamy will address the ministers after the opening ceremony on Wednesday. Finally, the ACP ministers will meet with EU counterparts on Friday at the 11th Joint Ministerial Trade Committee meeting.

Source: ACP Press