SA participates in ACP ministerial meeting

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his deputy Bulelani Magwanishe will today participate in the 20th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) ministerial meeting in Belgium.

The ACP Ministerial Committee and the 15th Joint ACP-European Union (EU) Ministerial Trade Committee meeting (JMTC) gets underway in Brussels today.

This week’s JMTC will exchange views on the future of multilateralism in light of recent pronouncements by some major global trade players, bearing in mind the redrawing of international trade partnerships, said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) on Wednesday.

Another issue to be discussed at the meetings will be the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and ACP countries.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) European Union Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), between the EU and six countries of the SADC, marked the first anniversary this week.

The SADC EPA offered South Africa an opportunity to improve market access provisions to better than the ones previously offered under the Trade, Development and Co-operation Agreement (TDCA).

The meeting will also discuss the state of play in the Brexit process and the implications of the United Kingdom exiting the EU.

Further issues to be discussed include non-tariff measures and fisheries.

The three-day meeting will discuss the upcoming 11th World Trade Organisation (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) that is scheduled to take place from 10 - 13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The meeting is expected to adopt a common ACP position for the group’s participation at MC11.

“The Ministers will also discuss the outcome of the WTO Informal Ministerial Gathering that was held in Morocco earlier this month. The meeting provided an opportunity for the exchange of views between the Trade Ministers and for the Ministers to provide guidance to the officials in Geneva on possible outcomes MC 11, which is the highest decision making body in the WTO,” said the dti.

At the last JMTC meeting, South Africa called upon all WTO members, including the EU, to ensure that the negotiations deliver on all the outstanding issues and that development is at the heart of the discussions.

The meeting will conclude on Friday. -

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