FSMR&D (April 11, 2014): A meeting of Pacific-ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers is currently being held in Suva, Fiji to discuss the way forward on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for the PACP Group. After PNG’s announcement at the last Joint Technical Working Group in Brussels in October 2013 to withdraw itself from the negotiations on the comprehensive EPA, the EU suspended the negotiations on the justification that a comprehensive EPA could not be negotiated or concluded without PNG, who is the only Pacific ACP Member State who has signed and ratified the interim EPA (iEPA).
In a March 2014 letter received from EC Trade Commissioner De Gucht on EU’s position on the way forward, the Trade Commissioner provided the PACP Group with possible options, which the PACP region could consider to move the negotiations forward. The purpose of this meeting is to have Trade and Fisheries Ministers deliberate over the best approach to move the negotiations forward.
FSM’s interest in the negotiations is to secure global sourcing for HS products 0304/0305 (fresh, chilled, frozen fish fillets) and development assistance to support FSM and other PACPs with their trade and trade related needs.
The meeting is being attended by FSM Ambassador to Fiji, Mr. Gerson Jackson, Assistant Secretary for Trade and Investment, Ms. Camille Movick-Inatio, and Trade Adviser, Mr. Jean Bertrand Azapmo.