FSM attends Pacific-African, Caribbean, and Pacific (PACP) Meetings ahead of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union.
Press Release #0812-03
Palikir, Pohnpei – FSM Information Services
August 16, 2012
FSM Dept. of R&D (August 15, 2012): Since Monday, August 13, FSM is attending the PACP Trade Officials and Ministerial Meetings in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. These meetings are aimed at progressing preparations for the next round of negotiations for the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement between Pacific Members of the Pacific African Caribbean Group of States (PACPS) and the European Union in October 2012. The Meetings, which will end on August 17, 2012, are facilitated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, and are attended by Senior Trade Officials and Trade Ministers from the 14 PACP States.
Eight main issues are being considered by the PACP Trade Officials for proper recommendation to Trade Ministers for their meeting in the latter part of this week: the draft market access offers, which deal with the list of products to be liberalized and those not to be liberalized in trading with the EU; the proposed draft fisheries Chapter, which deals with the fishing opportunities, possible benefits and compensations, and relationships with existing and future fishing agreements; the Development Cooperation Chapter, which will ensure that PACPS are provided adequate and appropriate resources to undertake the obligations under the negotiated agreement; the draft Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a Pacific Trade and Development Facility (PTDF), which is to improve the delivery of aid to PACPS to meet their EPA obligations and a means to channel Aid for Trade (AfT) resources to the region; a review of the Draft EPA legal text; the way forward for PACPs in the EPA negotiations; the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) Trade in Services (TIS) Protocol for endorsement by the Trade Ministers; and finally, PACP Management Issues, which will consider Fiji’s non-participation at PACP Leaders’ Meetings.
It is anticipated that important recommendations will be made at the PACP Minister’s Meeting for the consideration and final decision of the Forum Leaders at their next meeting in Cook Islands on August 27, 2012. In preparation for the JTWG with the EU in Brussels, FSM will finalize its position at the national level, taking into consideration the decisions that will arise from the PACP Minister’s Meeting, as well as the decisions that have been made by the National Trade Facilitation Committee at their meeting that was held in April of this year in Palikir.
Members of the FSM delegation to the meetings in Tonga are Mr. Marion Henry, Secretary of the Department of Resources and Development, Ms. Camille Movick-Inatio, Acting Assistant Secretary for Trade and Investment, and Mr. Jean Bertrand Azapmo, Trade Policy Analyst.