Don’t tolerate further extensions to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by the European Union.
So said Fiji’s Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, during the opening of the Pacific ACP trade ministers meeting in Nadi today He said negotiations should not drag on as talks have been going on for 10 years now.
Khaiyum said, “Our commitment is evident. PACP countries have submitted their market access offers and have provided all the feedback sought by the European Union.”
He further said that the EU was not forthcoming with its responses to these submissions and seems unwilling or unable to match the drive. “It is up to us to achieve the outcome we want. We must rely on our work, our effort, and our collective and collaborative vision to negotiate a favourable EPA”, said Khaiyum.
He added that without a comprehensive EPA, all Pacific ACP countries would risk their trade relations with the EU, which is important in the case of fisheries.