14 Jun 2012

ACP head says ball is in EU court over EPAs

8:58 am on 14 June 2012

The Secretary general of the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of countries says the region's frustration at the pace of negotiations with the European Union on trade agreements is entirely justified.

EPA's were due to come into force in 2008, but from the region, only Fiji and Papua New Guinea have signed interim agreements, and there has been no formal negotiation since 2009.

Pacific Islands ministers are accusing the European Commission of delaying negotiations for an economic partnership agreement for the Pacific.

The secretary-general, Dr Mohammed Chambas, says the ACP hopes the EU can come to the table on the proposals the Pacific has made.

"They have been waiting for the EU side to come up with a clear timetable for the negotiations. The Pacific side made proposals, as far back as 2009, and to date they have not received satisfactory responses. So on this I would say the ball is in the court of the Commission."

Dr Mohammed Chambas.