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SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Daily Post, April 27) – Fiji is set to host the 10th African Caribbean Pacific (APC) Ministerial Sugar Conference for the third time.

The Conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort in Nadi, will be held from April 30 to May 4, 2007.

It will bring together delegates from the ACP member countries to deliberate strategies to effectively manage the challenges of reform in the sugar sector.

The outcomes of this Conference could pave the way forward for all ACP Sugar suppliers to the European Union (EU) and for the ACP countries to take advantage of the new arrangements with the European Union as they complete the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations by December 31, 2007.

Delegates are expected to arrive on Sunday (29/04) and there will be some informal consultations of the Joint Working Groups and their registrations begin the following morning before the official opening.

This will be followed by statements made by the ACP Ministerial Spokesman on Sugar and Conference Chairman Dr Arvin Boolel and also a statement by the Secretary General of the ACP group before further talks begin on the various topics regarding sugar.

Furthermore, the conference will touch on issues such as the new EU Sugar regime and managing the changes that will be brought about by the change, implementation problems, corrective measures and health check.

Likewise, talks will also focus on Sugar and the EPA negotiations taking into account the European Union’s approach and the progress reports of the EPA negotiations.

In addition, focus will also be placed on the ACP Action Plan on accompanying measures, Intra-ACP Cooperation on Research and Development, future outlook and the opportunities in the Sugar Sector.

On the other hand, the delegates will be taken on a field and site visit of the Sugar Industry on Wednesday (02/05) and talks will resume the next day on the topic of ACP Strategies for managing the challenges of the reform.

The conclusion of the talks on Thursday (03/05) will see the consideration and adoption of a draft Action Plan and Communique.

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