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Fiji urges EU to conclude EPA

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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fiji urges EU to conclude EPA

Fiji has called on the European Union to meet the June deadline established by the Pacific ACP to conclude its comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.
Speaking at a Pacific African Caribbean and Pacific countries (PACP) - EU Technical Working Group meeting in Nadi on last Friday, 8th of March, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum asked for a firm commitment from the EU to ensure that an agreement is reached: “My message to this group is that we have a small window of opportunity to unlock the development benefits that the EPA has promised. The PACP leaders have already extended the deadlines for the conclusion of the EPA twice. We need a firm commitment and cooperation from the EU to ensure that negotiations are concluded in June 2013”, he said.
The Attorney-General says Fiji is committed to the PACP’s effort to negotiate an Economic Partnership Agreement as a single region. Pacific nations would be able to pool their fisheries resources and enter into joint ventures, which are not possible under the present arrangements.

Pacific nations announced recently that they are especially keen to include global sourcing for fisheries as a key component of the agreement. Global sourcing would allow a PACP country to purchase fish from approved sources – including non-PACP vessels – process it and export it to the EU. This would benefit Pacific countries that lack their own fishing fleets.
Fiji have signed an interim EPAs in 2009 which allows them to access markets in the sugar and fisheries sector, but a comprehensive agreement for all other Pacific ACP countries (PACP) is yet to be agreed on.

Source: Fiji Government Online Portal