Press Release – Solomon Islands Government
The Pacific’s fisheries resources have turned out to be the deal breaker for the current negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Pacific Island Countries and the European Union in Brussels.Pacific Fisheries Turns Deal Breaker for EU
The Pacific’s fisheries resources have turned out to be the deal breaker for the current negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Pacific Island Countries and the European Union in Brussels.
Solomon Islands National Trade Negotiations Envoy Robert Sisilo said fish – the only resource all Pacific countries can claim or even boast to have in relative abundance, is now the key to either make or break the negotiations.
Mr Sisilo said after almost 10 years of negotiations, the prospect of concluding a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the Pacific Island Countries and the E-U remains as elusive as ever.
He said Pacific Island Countries are now at a critical stage of their negotiations and fish is the only issue standing in the way of progressing and concluding their E-P-A with the E-U.
He said the big challenge now is how to treat fish and fish-related issues such as conservation and management measures in the E-P-A.
According to Mr Sisilo, the E-U wants access to fisheries resources of Pacific A-C-P countries and conservation measures to be provided for in the EPA but Pacific Island countries are saying no to that proposal and are asking for access to be negotiated bilaterally, not in an EPA.