Trade Minister represents PM at high-level dialogue

Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Hon. Premila Devi Kumar speaking at the high-level dialogue. Picture: SUPPLIED

FIJI’S Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Local Government, Housing and Community Development, Premila Kumar represented Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to the high-level dialogue on post-Cotonou negotiations in Apia, Samoa.

The Fijian delegation included her permanent secretary, Fiji’s Ambassador to Brussels and senior trade officials.

The leaders from the Pacific African, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP) and the European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, met to discuss all matters relating to the new agreement.

The high-level dialogue was an opportunity for the Pacific ACP leaders to raise concerns and identify key priorities for the region to be part of the negotiations, as textual negotiations on the new agreement between the EU and the ACP will begin soon.

Prior to the high-level dialogue, the Pacific ACP senior officials met and strongly recommended to the Pacific ACP Leaders that the Pacific-EU partnership needed to be on equal footing and it recognised the relevant strengths of the parties.

The senior officials also emphasised that the parties must take into account the lessons from the implementation of the Cotonou Agreement and ensure that there are no unilateral decisions made without adequate consultations with the parties.

The EU and ACP relations have been governed by the Cotonou Agreement, which was signed in 2000.

The partnership agreement between 107 industrialised and developing nations will expire on February 29, 2020.

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