Data loading...

“EU Using Global Sourcing As A Bargaining Tool To Get Access To Pacific Tuna”

The Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Chair and Fiji’s Trade Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum have called on the European Union not to use global sourcing as a bargaining tool to access fisheries resources in the region.

“Through global sourcing for the fisheries industry, the region will be able to pool its resources and enter into joint ventures to attract onshore investment and develop infrastructure.”

This will allow all the countries of our region to share the benefits of our fisheries more equally.

“It is not acceptable, therefore, for the EU to try to tie global sourcing for fresh, frozen and chilled fish (as well as global sourcing for processed and cooked fish, which is already granted under the interim EPA), to gain access to our fisheries resources. The development benefits of global sourcing are obvious, and therefore global sourcing for these products should be extended to the comprehensive EPA without restriction,” Khaiyum told the Ministers.

The Pacific ACP countries are lobbying the EU for the extension of the preferential rules of origin on fishery products to include fresh and chilled fish fillets in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Only PNG and Fiji, through ‘global sourcing,’ are allowed to export duty free and quota free access canned and cooked tuna loins to Europe.

Other PACPs want a similar preferential rule offered to PNG and Fiji to be extended to chilled fish fillets.

“Fish is an especially important export for Pacific ACP States. So it is worth returning to the EPA for a moment to discuss the global sourcing provisions for fresh, frozen and chilled fish and the fisheries chapter. These are absolutely key components of a development – friendly and balanced agreement.”

“The EU needs to recognize the fact that each Pacific country has sovereign rights over territorial and archipelagic waters and we will not allow the EPA to be used to undermine these rights in any way,” Khaiyum said.

He said PACP states know how important it is to conserve and manage its valuable natural resources.

“As a region, we understand that a prosperous future depends upon being responsible with the resources we are blessed with, so that they can continue to support our peoples for generations to come. Our national, sub regional and regional conservation policies are good – or better – than international measures and should not be undermine in the EPA.”

“In terms of EPA we must keep in mind that the next round of PACP – EU technical negotiations in Brussels in June could be the last. By that time, our officials needs to be fully prepared to explore negotiation options, following our guidance, in order to progress and finalize a favorable EPA.”