AG Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Chairs Another Big International Forum

After being chosen to chair the G77 group of countries at the United Nations, Fiji has again been honoured with an invitation to chair an important committee of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) at a series of meetings in Brussels in the coming week.

The 16th Meeting of the ACP Ministerial Trade Committee will be chaired by the Attorney-General and Minister for Industry and Trade, Mr. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, who leaves for Europe on Monday at the head of the Fijian delegation. He will be accompanied by the Permanent Secretary for Industry and Trade, Mr. Shaheen Ali.

The Ministerial meeting will be attended by ministers from the 79 ACP countries. In its 37 years, the organisation – working as a bloc – has been able to secure advantageous aid, trade and investment treaties for its members with the European Union.

As well as chairing the ACP meeting, the Minister will be co-chairing the 11th Joint Ministerial Trade Committeetalks between the ACP and the European Union. He will share the role with the European Union Trade Commissioner, Mr. Karel De Gucht. His Permanent Secretary, Mr. Ali, has been given the task of chairing the ACP Senior Officials meeting.

The Minister says that being invited to chair the ACP meetings is another major achievement for Fiji. “Like the Non Aligned Movement and the G77, the ACP is a significant voice for developing countries and plays a key role in south-south dialogue. By calling upon Fiji to chair these meetings, the ACP countries have reaffirmed their confidence inFiji. This further solidifies Fiji’s role as a key player in the international arena,” he said.

The Minister added that the Brussels meetings gives Fiji the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the ACP group and highlights the fact that it is an integral member.

On his role as chair of the Ministerial Trade Committee, the Minister said it will address important issues relating to ACP-EU trade, including implementation of the Interim and Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements.

“These negotiations for the Pacific ACP countries come at a crucial juncture and our meetings will enable the Pacific ACP countries to formulate their strategies. The whole idea is to build capacity and expand our trading opportunities,” he said.

Print Friendly