16 Oct 2007

Pacific ACP leaders call for intensifying of EPA negotiations with EU

9:01 am on 16 October 2007

Pacific ACP Leaders have expressed the need to intensify the region's negotiations with the European Union over an Economic Partnership Agreement or EPA.

The Pacific ACP Leaders from the 14 Pacific Island Forum Countries and Timor Leste met in Nuku'alofa, Tonga, ahead of the Forum leaders summit.

The ACP Leaders have noted that a lot of progress has been made in the EPA negotiations but there is a need to intensify the region's exchange with the EU to sort out issues that still remain to be negotiated.

Of importance to the region was that both parties have agreed that it is not possible to conclude negotiations by December 2007, as initially perceived.

Both sides are seeking for an Interim Arrangement to be in place until a more comprehensive EPA comes into force.