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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries meetings to convene in Vanuatu next week

From the PI Forum Secretariat

Trade and Fisheries Ministers and Officials from the Pacific Countries of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (PACP) group will hold a series of meetings in the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila, starting next week from Monday 13 to Friday 17 November 2006.

The Joint Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Officials Meeting will be held on 13 November followed by the Joint Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers the next day, 14 November. Pacific ACP Trade Officials Meeting will be held on 15 November to be followed by the PACP Trade Ministers meeting 16-17 November.

These series of meetings are important as the Pacific Region comes to a critical stage in the negotiation of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) with the European Union, Greg Urwin, Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat says.

The Joint Pacific ACP Trade and Fisheries Ministers Meeting will consider recommendations on:
- the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and Pacific Fisheries;
- a Multilateral Fisheries Partnership Agreement;
- Fishing Effort to be offered to the European Union;
- a Draft Fisheries legal text and
- a Way Forward to progress the EPA Fisheries Issues.

The Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting will discuss key issues including:
- Update on EPA negotiations since June 2006;
- EPA-related Studies and Process;
- Overall EPA Road Map
- Trade-Related Initiatives, and
- An Update on the World Trade Organization (WTO) Issues.

Each of the meetings will produce Outcomes Papers which will include recommendations on how to move the issues forward.

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