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Ministers map way forward in trade talks

Ana Madigibuli
Saturday, April 12, 2014

MAPPING a way forward in respect to the negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was the main issue at the Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers Meeting in Suva, said Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum yesterday.

"We have had some very useful and in-depth discussions which were very fruitful, essentially in mapping a way out for our officials who will be in Brussels later this month to negotiate the Pacific region position," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

"As you know the negotiation has been going on between our officials and the Forum Secretariat."

He said other issues were on the regional negotiating machinery, the format of the negotiations, the fisheries issues in the EPA negotiations, the key content issues, market access offers, development corporations and the way forward regarding the negotiations.

"Apart from that we had an update on the work regarding our relationship with the United States of America on trade and investment arrangements, trade relations between Pacific Island countries and China and an update on the Pacific integration technical assistance project," Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

EU ambassador and head of delegation Andrew Jacobs said the EU was looking forward to receiving formal feedback from the Pacific ACP states about the outcome of the week's meetings.

He said they hoped that this would be a solid basis for further progress towards reaching a compromise in the future.

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