Vanuatu To Host WTO Preparatory Meeting For Pacific

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Effort to develop common platform for Bali conference

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (Vanuatu Daily Post, September 2, 2013) – The Government of the Republic of Vanuatu through its Embassy to the European Union based in Brussels, kingdom of Belgium is organising with the financial support of the ACP MTS project facility a preparatory meeting for the Pacific ACP WTO members in preparation for the next WTO Ministerial conference that will take place in Bali, Republic of Indonesia in early December this year.

The ACP MTS project is a EU funded Programme initiative that supports the integration of ACP states into the Multi Lateral trading system. A major component of the technical assistance delivered toward strengthening the capacity of ACP WTO members to negotiate and defend their interests at the World Trade Organization WTO in Geneva.

The entire objective of this event according to the Head of the Vanuatu Embassy in Brussels H E Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy is to collectively call the Pacific ACP States who are members of the World Trade Organization WTO to come together to take stock, reflect of a number of issues in the WTO declaration and agree on a common platform that may constitute an important Pacific positions in the next WTO ministerial conference.

According to Ambassador Roy Mickey Joy, the Pacific ACP Regional coordinator in Brussels, for far too long, the Pacific Islands membership in the global trade policy body have not been accorded adequate policy space to speak with one voice amplifying their interests and raised with the WTO issues of greater interests and of immediate concern to our Pacific region. It is expected that this event in Vanuatu should assist Pacific ACP states, which are members of the WTO to identify a number of issues to be tabled at the next WTO ministerial in Bali, Indonesia.

The Workshop should attract all Senior Trade Policy Officials responsible for Trade from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa and of course Vanuatu. A number of highly selected Experts specialising in Trade Policy and the WTO Agreements from both the European Union and the ACP region have been invited to present a series of technical papers focusing on the Pacific region in this workshop.

The workshop will also see the Participation of all Pacific Ambassadors based in Brussels, London and Geneva to assist in the debate and discussions in developing a common Pacific Islands position on selected WTO issues on the basis of the Ministerial Declaration.

The Vanuatu delegation to this event is being coordinated by both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry, tourism and Commerce.

A total of over 45 participants including those from Vanuatu are expected to attend this event which is expected to take place early September.

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