29 Nov 2007

Pacific Islands Forum's deputy urges Pacific countries to study agreement with EU

10:45 am on 29 November 2007


The Pacific Islands Forum Deputy Secretary General, Peter Forau, has urged Pacific states planning to sign an interim trade deal with the European Union to study the agreement closely.

PNG and Fiji are the only Pacific ACP, or African Caribbean Pacific, states to have submitted a goods offer to Brussels and PNG is scheduled to sign an interim agreement next week.

The agreement, which sets the foundation for the proposed economic partnership agreement, would allow a member country of the Pacific ACP continued preferential access to the EU market.

Mr Forau, however, said any state that put pen to paper should study the agreement as it will impact on other Pacific ACP states.

Vanuatu's Trade Minister James Bule says his country will not sign any EPA agreement with the EU until issues such as market access, elimination of export tax and customs co-operation are further discussed.

"Because we see the trade in goods will make only a small impact on us. But we see trade in services that will be beneficial to Vanuatu.