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Monday, 05 November 2012

Mixed progress for ACP-EU trade agreements

Long-running talks on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between some members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the European Union move ahead at a mired pace, despite best efforts on both sides. At the last joint ministerial trade meeting in Brussels at the end of October, the ACP Co-Chair, Fiji’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, called for a review of European ambitions, after nearly a decade of negotiations.
Since the early 2000s, 36 ACP countries have been negotiating with the EU as seven regional blocks. So far, only the 15-member Caribbean region has completed a comprehensive EPA, while several other countries have signed and ratified interim deals. European Trade Commissioner Mr Karel De Gucht told the meeting: “We have achieved less than I expected a year ago, and worse - we have achieved less than was possible.”

Source: ACP Secretariat