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DECISION No.15/CVI/17 OF THE 106th SESSION OF THE ACP COUNCIL OF MINISTERS HELD IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, FROM 5th TO 6TH DECEMBER 2017

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ACP-EU TRADE RELATIONS POST-2020

 

The ACP Council of Ministers,

-             Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, from 5th to 6th December 2017,

 

HAVING REGARD to its previous decision that post 2020, three pillars would define the Group’s mandate, with one pillar addressing trade, investment, industrialization ad services;

 

HAVING REGARD to the preliminary exchange of views trade relations post 2020 during the 15th meeting of the Joint ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committee held on 20 October;

 

WHEREAS the current situation where five trade regimes govern ACP-EU trade relations compared with one regime when Cotonou Agreement was concluded is untenable, and hence the need for the ACP and the EU to work together to ensure that the regional integration agenda is not undermined;

 

NOTING the ongoing process for the establishment of a Continental free trade agreement in Africa and implementation of the Caribbean single market and economy;

 

HEREBY DECIDES TO:

 

1.     Welcome the assurance by the EU side that the ACP-EU relations built on trade and development cooperation will continue to play a key role in future trade relations, with Aid for Trade also being an integral part of the cooperation.

 

2.     Acknowledge that the cornerstone of future trade relations will likely be the reciprocal but asymmetric Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) for export growth and diversification while respecting multilateral rules.

 

3.    Underscore the need for an ACP-EU framework that would in future allow discourse on cross-cutting EPA and other bilateral trade issues and on global and multilateral trade matters;

 

4.     Recognize other forms of cooperation for strengthening in future are development strategies for trade in services and other trade-related areas, especially trade and sustainable development, product standards and technical barriers to trade;

 

5.     Affirm that tackling effects of globalisation and the emerging global value chains, will in future require addressing trade and development issues in a holistic manner, focusing on creating the right conditions for investment and trade growth to boost job creation and industrialization;

 

6.     Note that no new EU trade policy instruments are foreseen and that the unilateral Generalised Scheme of Preferences with Everything But Arms will remain available in the same terms as with other developing countries;

 

7.     Instruct the Committee of Ambassadors to take account of the information provided during the drafting of the position for the ACP-U relations post 2020; and

 

8.     Instruct the President of Council to forward this decision to the African Union Commission and the ACP Regional Integration Organizations.

 

Done at Brussels, 6th December 2017

H.E. Mr. Alioune SARR
Minister of Trade, Consumer Affairs, Informal sector and SMEs of the Republic of Senegal

President of ACP Council of Ministers

 


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