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Zambia hails ACP-EU relations

Zambian delegation led by Finance Minister Felix Mutati paying courtesy call on ACP Secretary General in BrusselsBRUSSELS, WEDNESDAY, 18th JANUARY, 2017 – Zambia’s Minister of Finance Felix Mutati today held a successful meeting with Dr Patrick Gomes, Secretary General of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group of states in Brussels, Belgium.
The two officials discussed a range of issues on trade and economic with regard to strengthening bilateral relations between Zambia and the ACP. They further conferred on the importance of regional integration initiatives; state of play of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and the future of the ACP post 2020.
Welcoming his guest, Dr Gomes noted the strong bond that exist between Zambia and the ACP organisation. He also briefed the minister on the activities undertaken by the organisation in cooperation with the European Union (EU), which have and continue to bear positive results. The Secretary General hailed Zambia for political and economic stability and initiatives undertaken to develop the country. He expressed gratitude to the country and its people for supporting efforts of the ACP in ensuring existing trade barriers between the EU and ACP countries were eliminated.
And Mr Mutati noted that for development to be realised in ACP countries, there is need to strengthen engagement with the EU on the basis of mutual interest, particularly on matters of deregulation, harmonisation of rules, regulations and reduction of non-tariff barriers. The Minister expressed concern that restrictions on free movements on goods, persons, labour, capital and services were against the principle of international cooperation and development. He called for a stronger ACP-EU cooperation on critical areas such as sustainable infrastructure investment, trade and industrial policies. Mr Mutati further called for enhanced support for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector, as a major job creator in developing countries, including Zambia.
The Minister assured Dr Gomes of Zambia’s support as the organisation works out it future post 2020 when the Cotonou Agreement, a framework for the EU-ACP relations expires.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Issued by:                                                                              

Lambwe Kachali [Mr]
First Secretary (Press & Public Relations)

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