21 May 2007

Solomons External Trade Minister off to ACP talks in Brussels

10:45 am on 21 May 2007

The Solomon's Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Patterson Oti, leaves for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) talks in Brussels today.

Mr Oti is the alternative spokesperson for the pacific region on issues affecting the ACP in relation to the Economic Partnership Agreement, or EPA, with the European Union.

Samoa is the current spokesperson for the Pacific region.

The ACP talks are aimed at strengthening the group's technical demands ahead of the EU-ACP negotiations over trade

Some pacific countries have enjoyed trade benefits by having free entry of ACP goods into the EU market.

But the EU has set December 31 as deadline to put an end to that special arrangement.

Mr Oti said the ACP needs sound demands in order to convince the EU of its stand on the partnership agreement.