Fiji Times, Suva
Meeting vital to meet minsters deadline
By Ioane Burese
24 August 2012
Pacific-African, Caribbean and Pacific (PACP) trade officials and ministers met in Nuku’alofa, Tonga earlier this month to discuss key issues, which included the Management of PACP Group, Fiji’s participation in the PACP and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the EU.
The Fijian delegation was led by Industry and Trade permanent secretary Shaheen Ali, who also represented the Minister for Industry and Trade, at the PACP Trade Ministers’ Meeting.
"These meetings have been vital for the PACP states, given the urgent need to finalise the Comprehensive EPA negotiations in order to meet the 2012 deadline set by the PACP Trade Ministers," he said.
"This will be last time the PACP states meet as a group before the early October face-to-face meetings with the EU.
"A finalised and well-negotiated Comprehensive EPA will provide the PACP states the opportunity to enter the EU market with compatible preferences, making the PACP products marketable and competitive".