In preparation for the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee scheduled for 26th October 2018, ACP Senior Officials responsible for Trade and ACP Ministers of Trade met from 21 – 25 October to consider ways of strengthening ACP-EU partnership by addressing salient issues related to ACP-EU trade relations; i.e post-Cotonou negotiations, state of play of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) and the Brexit process. The meeting also examined developments in the international trade scene, namely the post eleventh WTO Ministerial Conference (MC 11). The meeting of the senior officials was chaired by Mr Joshua Rimarkindu KALINOE, Ambassador of Papua New Guinea and Chairman of the ACP Subcommittee on Trade and Commodities. The ACP Secretariat was represented by the Assistant Secretary-General in charge of the Department for Sustainable Economic Development and Trade, Mr Viwanou GNASSOUNOU.

On 24th October, Ministers held an exchange of views with the Rt Honourable George Hollingbery, Minister of State for Trade Policy of the United Kingdom and the Rt Honourable Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General on the Brexit process and the strengthening of Trade cooperation with ACP Member States. The meeting of the ACP Ministers of Trade was chaired by Hon Lautafi Fio Selafi PURCELL, Minister of Commerce, Industry of Samoa.