Posted by: APO | 13 June 2008

EU is ACP’s main trading partner: Zenawi

EU is ACP’s main trading partner: Zenawi


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 13, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/Ethiopian Prime Minister His Excellency Ato Meles Zenawi has spoken highly of the ACP-EU development partnership. He described the European Union as the most important trading partner for the ACP Group.


Opening the 33rd ACP-EU Joint Council of Ministers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Mr Zenawi said: “Europe is our most important trading partner, our key source of private sector in investment and by far the biggest source of grant assistance for our development.”


He said the EU’s assistance to the ACP countries continues to improve both in terms of quantity and quality.


However, he said, ACP countries will achieve meaningful development only if they can fully integrated into the global economy and do so in a manner that enhances their development potential.


Mr Zenawi said the promotion of trade and private sector investment has be a central consideration in “our development efforts and in the ACP-EU partnership.”


“It is with this in mind that we have to seriously evaluate the progress we have made so far with regard to EPA negotiations,” he said.


The Prime Minister said that the ACP Group is convinced that its trading relationship has to be compatible with WTO rules and with the objectives of effectively utilizing trade development.


“We in the ACP are concerned that while the process made so far with respect to the EPA negotiations may be compatible with WTO rules, they are not adequately compatible with out development needs.


“We need to address those concerns in a spirit of understanding of each others interests and accommodation,” he said.


SOURCE : ACP Group of State


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