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ACP-EU negotiations critical

August 6, 2012 5:04 am

Fiji has today voiced strong concerns over its previous exclusion from the Pacific ACP Leaders meeting.

Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Shaheen Ali says the Pacific ACP group should not be influenced by third parties.

Shaheen says the body must operate independently.

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“Overall, our region has not been able to achieve the level of economic integration and success as a direct consequence of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (perhaps influenced by third parties) wrongfully excluding Fiji, a founding member of the Pacific ACP and an integral part of the Region, from Pacific ACP forums and other trade initiatives.”

Pacific ACP members are putting together an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) which they will use to negotiate trade with the European Union.

However there has been little progress made on the EPA.

Ali went on to ask members to thoroughly discuss and review the management of Pacific ACP affairs when the next Trade officials meeting is held in Tonga later in the year.

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