27 Apr 2007

ACP sugar producers meeting in Fiji next week

9:55 am on 27 April 2007

Ministers from sugar producing countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group will meet in Fiji next week to map out strategies for reform of the sugar industries in their countries.

The weeklong meeting will be held in Nadi from Monday.

The agreements reached at the meeting will pave the way for the ACP countries to negotiate their Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union which has to be completed by the end of this year.

The Fiji conference will be chaired by the ACP ministerial spokesman on sugar, Dr Arvin Boolel, and focus on the new EU sugar regime and the changes it will bring about for the ACP producers.

As well, they will discuss the ACP Action Plan on Accompanying Measures and Intra-ACP Cooperation on Research and Development.

The delegates will also make a field trip to study Fiji's sugar industry which has been ailing for some years with production declining by a third.