Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Bulelani Magwanishe will today leave for Belgium where he will participate in the 21st Ministerial Trade Committee meeting of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states.
“The ACP Ministers of Trade meeting is held at a time when the multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges. The ACP Ministers of Trade will therefore exchange views on issues affecting global trade,” said Magwanishe ahead of his trip.
Kicking off on Wednesday, the two-day meeting will also provide an opportunity to engage the UK on the Brexit process.
“SACU [the Southern African Customs Union] and the UK are engaged in a discussion towards a roll-over agreement based on the Economic Partnership Agreement that aims to ensure that there is no disruption in trade once the UK leaves the EU,” said Magwanishe.
Other issues include the World Trade Organisation issues post the 11th World Trade Organisation Ministerial conference convened in December 2017.
Following the conclusion of the ACP meeting on Thursday, Magwanishe will also participate in the 16th Joint ACP and European Union Ministerial Trade Committee (JMTC) to be held on Friday.
The discussions at the joint meeting with the European Union would also include consideration of the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the ACP-Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as well as other pertinent issues arising from the current ACP-EU trade relations.
The Joint Ministerial Trade Committee is a high level political forum that meets at least once a year, with the aim of strengthening the ACP-EU partnership.
The JMTC is mandated to address and resolve ACP-EU trade related issues of concern and interest for the parties and to monitor the implementation of the EPAs. – SAnews.gov.za