Fiji’s Attorney-General and the Minister for Industry and Trade, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, has called on fellow trade ministers from the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of states to develop a unified message on trade before they meet the European Commission later this week.
As Chair of the 16th ACP Group Ministerial Trade Committee Meeting, Sayed-Khaiyum urged the 260 delegates, representing 64 countries, to act quickly to end the current uncertainty on a number of critical issues.
He reminded the delegates that in order to achieve to best outcome for the people of the ACP nations, the ministers needed to urgently address remaining issues relating to the Economic Partnership Agreement [EPA] with the EU, the European Commission’s Communication on Trade, Growth and Development and, the European Commission’s negotiations with third parties, and commodity related issues.
“This is an important opportunity for ACP Trade Ministers and we must be well prepared to have constructive dialogue on key issues on trade and development with the Europeans,” he said.
He particularly stressed the importance of finalising a unified position on the Economic Partnership Agreement before going into the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee meeting on Friday.
Sayed-Khaiyum is chairing the two-day deliberations of the 16th ACP Group Ministerial Trade Committee Meeting before co-chairing the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee meeting on Friday.
By Indrani Krishna