PRETORIA, South African Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his deputy, Bulelani Magwanishe, are attending a ministerial meeting of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries and the European Union being held in Brussels this week.
The ACP Ministerial Committee and the 15th Joint ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committee meeting (JMTC) got underway in Brussels Wednesday. Among issues to be raised will be the future of multilateralism in light of recent pronouncements by some major global trade players, bearing in mind the redrawing of international trade partnerships, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said in a statement here.
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)-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC EPA), involving the EU and six countries of the SADC sub-regional grouping, marked its first anniversary this week.
The SADC EPA offers South Africa an opportunity to improve market access provisions 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 Britain leaving the EU.
Other issues to be discussed include non-tariff measures and fisheries.
The three-day meeting will also discuss the upcoming 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference (MC11) scheduled to take place from Dec 10 to 13 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. �
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK