13 Apr 2004

Pacific trade ministers pleased with ACP talks

3:24 pm on 13 April 2004

Trade Ministers from Pacific Island countries believe they are making good progress in preparing for crucial free trade talks with the European Union.

The Ministers met last week in Papua New Guinea and endorsed a draft negotiating strategy for the talks, due to take place in september.

The deputy secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Iosefa Maiava, says a key issue is whether to go for free trade quickly or one that integrates them into the world economy at their own pace.

"Now of course no one is underestimating the challenges that still lie ahead in terms of the issues that need to be resolved and agreed to, not only amongst the ACP countries, but with the European Union, but they were happy that the issue is moving forward and the region is getting quite well prepared for these talks."

The deputy secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Iosefa Maiava.