The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is a trade and development agreement between African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and the EU. The objectives of the EPA are to promote sustainable development and the gradual integration of Pacific States into the world economy. The Agreement aims at establishing a free trade area between the parties through progressive liberalisation, taking into account the specific needs and capacity constraints of the Pacific States. The EPA covers trade in goods.
The EPA between the EU and Pacific ACP States was signed by PNG in July 2009 and by Fiji in December 2009. This Agreement has been applied by PNG since 2011 and by Fiji since 2014.
Ahead of the seminar, the EU Ambassador for the Pacific, H.E. Sujiro Seam said: ''The EU is the world’s largest single market and the EPA provides for free access into the EU for products from Fiji and PNG. This market access advantage in PNG has triggered five new investments that have generated 50,000 new jobs, many of them for women. Fiji has also signed the EPA and enjoys similar advantages. For example, duty-free and quota-free access to the EU market for processed fish, regardless of where that fish is caught.''
''In the Pacific, Fiji is one of the largest trading partners of the EU. Fiji's main exports to the EU are raw cane sugar, other agricultural products and fish. The EPA offers opportunities for diversification and strengthening of our economic ties. It generates income and jobs in the private sector. It is a true partnership for trade and development. The EPA is one of the EU's main tools to assist developing countries, such as Fiji, on their path to economic growth and diversification of their economies." added Ambassador Seam.