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Euro-Mediterranean partnership | Brussels, 11 November 2010

9th Union for the Mediterranean Trade Ministerial Conference

The 9th Union for the Mediterranean Trade Ministerial Conference will take place in Brussels on 11 November.

2010 is an important year in Euro-Mediterranean trade relations. The Conference will allow Ministers to take stock of progress made towards the objective agreed in Barcelona in 1995 of establishing a genuine Free Trade Area by 2010.

Ministers will first take stock of progress achieved in the on-going negotiations for the liberalisation of trade in services and establishment, negotiations on the establishment of dispute settlement mechanisms and market access for agricultural, processed agricultural and fishery products.

Ministers will consider the state of regional economic integration, namely the negotiation and implementation of South-South integration initiatives as well as the state of play concerning the regional convention on the Pan-Euro-Mediterranean system of rules of origin.

Ministers will also discuss our joint working priorities for 2011. This includes actions to complete the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area and to boost Euro-Mediterranean trade and investment flows. In particular, Ministers will discuss the establishment of a Euro-Mediterranean Trade and Investment Facilitation mechanism and ways to enhance regional cooperation on fight against piracy and counterfeiting.

This year's Conference will include an open session with business, which will allow an exchange of views with key representatives of the business sector from both sides of the Mediterranean.

The conference will gather the 43 Trade Ministers of the Union for the Mediterranean.

It will be co-chaired by EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht, Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Vanackere, and by Egyptian Trade Minister Rachid and French State Secretary for External Trade Idrac, both representing the Union for the Mediterranean co-Presidencies.