The Seychelles, 14 January 2020: The Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) states held the eighth meeting of the Joint Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Committee under the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (iEPA) with a delegation from the European Union (EU) on 14 January 2020 in the Seychelles. The meeting was co-chaired by Ambassador Haymandoyal Dillum for ESA-5 and Cecile Billaux for the EU.

Member States of the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) signatories of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement comprise Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe (ESA-5). Negotiations on the deepening of the iEPA were launched in Mauritius in October 2019, following preparatory meetings in South Africa in August 2019, when H.E. Dillum, Ambassador of Mauritius in Belgium reiterated the ESA-5’s commitment to negotiating a modern and ambitious development-oriented trade agreement with the EU, despite the globally challenging trade environment.

Viwanou Gnassounou, Assistant Secretary General of the Sustainable Economic Development and Trade Department at the Brussels-based African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat,congratulated the two parties on the steady progress made to date on both the talks and the Negotiations, saying: “The commitment of both parties to achieving a modern and extensive agreement is obvious, from the steady pace of the negotiations and the range of issues covered during this meeting.”

The ninth meeting of the EPA Committee will take place in Brussels in 2021 at a date to be jointly decided.

CLICKHERE for the Joint Communique which outlines the outcomes of the meeting.