Brussels, 7 October 2013/ ACP: Ministers and other High level trade officials from the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will rally in Brussels from 7-11 October for talks, leading up to a meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht on Friday 11 October.
The annual gathering will focus on central issues of interest and concerns, including a collective ACP declaration for the upcoming World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministerial meeting in December, progress on the ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), and an EU initiative on mineral sourcing from conflict-affected areas.
ACP and EU sides will also jointly review the future path for the decade-long EPAs negotiations, which continues to stall over technical obstacles.
ACP-EU trade regime issues such as impact of EU trade deals with third parties on ACP trade, non-tariff measures, and commodities trade (sugar, bananas, tuna, tobacco and kava) are also on the agenda.
The weeklong programme begins with meetings by ACP senior officials, followed by two days of discussions amongst ACP trade ministers. Finally, the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee (JMTC) takes place with the EU Trade Commissioner, with expected participation from the EU Commissioner for Development and possibly the Minister from Lithuania (currently holding the EU presidency).
– ACP Press