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ACP Trade Officials Meet EU To Talk On Tuna

African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) trade officials are meeting with the European Trade Commissioner, in Brussels, to jointly review the future path for the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The meeting will focus on the impact of trade deals and non-tariff measures on several commodities including tuna.

The week long discussions begin with meetings by ACP senior officials as well as two days of negotiations between ACP trade ministers. It will be followed by the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee (JMTC) with the EU Trade Commissioner.

In his address at the start of the week, ACP Secretary General Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, said that the presence of delegates from as far as the Caribbean was “a demonstration of the importance that your respective governments and regional organizations attach to this meeting and, in particular, to ACP-EU trade relations”.

He said that the ACP believes the “identified issues need to be addressed with the utmost urgency, since they are so critical to the good of our ACP-EU trade relations”. 
Furthermore, he indicated that the ultimate objectives of the ACP meetings are to prepare the ACP Group’s participation at the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Indonesia, as well as to strengthen trade cooperation and partnership between the ACP Group of States and the European Union.

“More than anyone else, we earnestly desire to remove this thorn in our flesh, so that ACP-EU relations can enjoy a new lease of life.

The ACP Secretary General said other issues for consideration would include the EC negotiations of free trade agreements (FTAs) with third countries.
“While the EC has provided brief updates on this issue during our various joint meetings, a key problem has been the inability to independently assess the impact of these new agreements on ACP-EU trade. Perhaps the situation will become clearer upon the commencement of the implementation of these agreements.”