4 Dec 2008

Concerns remain over EPAs, as Pacific ACP delegates meet

2:43 pm on 4 December 2008

Pacific representatives from the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have reiterated their concern over the implications for development in signing trade deals with the European Union.

The concerns were expressed at talks this week between EU parliamentarians and their ACP counterparts in Vanuatu's capital Port Vila.

Our correspondent in Vanuatu, Len Garae, reports that Pacific countries have called on the EU to confirm their development aid commitments before they sign Economic Partnership Agreements.

"They have not agreed to a time frame when to sign the agreement because there are pressing issues that still need to be clarified, for example they feel that the EU has to define the word development - especially in countries where there is not much development - so what's the EU going to do? And Sir John Kaputin, the secretary-general of the ACP, has already left the country but that is his concern that member countries need to really understand what it all means, and he's hoping that the agreement is going to be signed later on this year."

Len Garae reporting