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October 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM
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Fiji’s Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum departed the country today to chair the 16th meeting of the African Caribbean and Pacific States Ministerial Trade Committee in Brussels.

The meeting will be attended by ministers from the 79 ACP countries. In its 37 years, the organisation - working as a union – has been able to secure advantageous aid, trade and investment treaties for its members with the European Union.

As well as chairing the ACP meeting, the Minister will be co-chairing the 11th joint Ministerial Trade Committee talks between the ACP and the European Union.

“Like the Non Aligned Movement and the G77, the ACP is a significant voice for developing countries and plays a key role in south-south dialogue. By calling upon Fiji to chair these meetings, the ACP countries have reaffirmed their confidence in Fiji. This further solidifies Fiji’s role as a key player in the international arena,” AG said.

Sayed-Khaiyum further said the Brussels meetings gives Fiji the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the ACP group and highlights the fact that it is an integral member.

On his role as chair of the Ministerial Trade Committee, the Minister said meeting will address important issues relating to ACP-EU trade, including the implementation of the Interim and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements.

“These negotiations for the Pacific ACP countries come at a crucial juncture and our meetings will enable the Pacific ACP countries to formulate their strategies. The whole idea is to build capacity and expand our trading opportunities,” he said.

The Attorney General is accompanied by the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade Shaheen Ali.

By Indrani Krishna

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