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Prime Minister Anthony calls for genuine partnership between ACP and EU

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Contact: Julita Peter

Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - Prime Minister, Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony has called for genuine partnership between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries. In presenting Saint Lucia’s perspective on the position that must be adopted to avoid economic destruction of developing countries, at the 4th meeting of the ACP/EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee last Saturday March 01, 2003, Dr. Anthony said, “this partnership should not only be at the WTO level but should extend to incorporate the other countries particularly as they negotiate Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs).

Noting that the ACP member-countries are not pursuing a traditional Free Trading Arrangement, Prime Minister Anthony explained that EPA negotiations are about jointly seeking new ways of bringing economic relations into line with changing realities; realities which promote development and facilitate further cooperation .

“The agenda cannot be driven merely by the need to pry open markets at any cost to spread the ideology of liberalization for its own sake. Our challenge is to weave this realization into negotiations at all levels,” Dr. Anthony said.

The Prime Minister explained that ACP member countries would like to see development as the focus of negotiations. He added that the ACP countries are not simply calling for financial and technical assistance but for recognition of those various instruments such as market access, financial and agricultural cooperation which will advance the development of ACP states.

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