26 Mar 2008

Pacific ACP countries meet to plot way forward on EPA negotiations

9:33 pm on 26 March 2008

Pacific ACP Trade Officials and Ministers are meeting in Nadi, Fiji to consider recent developments in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union.

In the discussions on the way forward in the EPA negotiations the ACP officials will take into consideration recent developments, and where appropriate provide directions to the Regional Negotiating Machinery.

There will also be consideration of other issues including Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) services negotiations and issues relevant to the possible deepening of trade and economic cooperation between Forum Island Countries and Australia and New Zealand.

Recent developments in the Pacific energy sector and the challenges and opportunities of regional integration are also on the agenda.

It is anticipated the meeting of Trade Ministers will agree on a road map of activities and schedule of joint meetings with the European Commission to conclude a full EPA by 31 December 2008.