CTA | Thursday, 05 January 2012
Pacific ACP Group to conclude comprehensive EPAs with the EU
According to the most recent updates on the Pacific ACP Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations, provided during the 94th ACP Council of Ministers and held on December 2011 in Brussels, the region is committed to continue negotiating a comprehensive EPA as a single region. Negotiations will be concluded in 2012, as mandated by Pacific ACP Leaders in September 2011.
Tonga’s Minister for Labour, Commerce and Industries along with the Pacific ACP Lead Spokesperson, Hon. ‘Isileli Pulu, reaffirmed to the Council the region’s commitment on behalf of the Pacific ACP Group.
Pacific ACP Lead Spokesperson Hon. ‘Isileli Pulu stressed that the Pacific worked to complete eight additional market access offers over 2011, for the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Furthermore, he highlighted the successful conclusion of negotiations on accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by Samoa and Vanuatu, which were recently formalised at the 8th WTO Ministerial Conference.
It is important to note that Pacific ACP States are concurrently negotiating several regional trade agreements, such as the extension of the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), covering trade in services, and PACER Plus negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.