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Africa, Caribbean, Pacific | Brussels, 11 December 2013

EU Trade Commissioner to participate in Pacific Ministerial Meeting

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht will be in Honiara, Solomon Islands, on 12 December for an informal meeting with Trade and Fisheries Ministers from the 14 Pacific ACP (Africa, Caribbean, Pacific – “PACP”) countries that are negotiating an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU.

The informal Ministerial will be an opportunity to take stock of the situation following informal senior officials’ discussions and the cancellation of the Ministerial meeting at the request of the PACP group in October 2013.

Commissioner De Gucht will discuss the state of play and way forward after the withdrawal of Papua New Guinea from the negotiations of the comprehensive regional EPA.

Background

The group of 14 PACP countries include the Cook Islands, East Timor, Fiji, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Papua New Guinea and Fiji concluded an interim EPA in 2007, which has been applied since 2009, but only by Papua New Guinea.

Exports from the region are concentrated in the fisheries, palm oil, coffee, and coconut sectors, while the EU mainly exports electrical machinery and equipment to the region.

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