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EPA needs to be settled

November 25, 2015 11:33 pm

The long standing impasse over the Economic Partnership Agreement needs to be settled once and for all says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.

Addressing the African Carribean and Pacific Council of Ministers in Belgium this week, Bainimarama says the EPA holds the key for development in ACP countries.

He has called for a high-level ministerial meeting between the Pacific-ACP countries and the EU to settle the impasse once and for all.

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‘’Because of this impasse, The Pacific ACP States are effectively the only ACP States left without a comprehensive EPA. Or as some of my officials describe it – “we are EPA orphans”. And from our standpoint, we are being unfairly disadvantaged and our development impeded’’.

The European Union says negotiations on a comprehensive EPA can’t be concluded without a review of fisheries conservation in Pacific-ACP countries.

However Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama says this should not stand in the way of a full agreement as the intention of the Economic Partnership Agreement is to continue historical trading relations.

The EPA was to be in effect in 2012 but three years down the line, negotiations continue.

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