29 Aug 2007

Concern among Pacific officials over E-C trade negotiations

2:00 pm on 29 August 2007

Pacific trade officials are concerned over the lack of progress in reaching a broad trade agreement with the European Commission.

Under the Cotonou Agreement, the E-C and its partners of the ACP group are to seal trading arrangements, known as Economic Partnership Agreements, by the end of the year.

But Pacific delegates say the E-C's draft text, which was only received in early August, was lacking in detail.

A statement, issued by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, says unless there is significant progress, the region could be forced to make a choice which could entail devastating tariff increases that will lead to job losses.