Press release

Ambassador Faure highlights trade issues at Meeting of the ACP Ministers of Trade

October 24, 2015

Ambassador Barry Faure, Secretary of State for the Department of Foreign Affairs, in representation of Minister Jean-Paul Adam who holds the portfolio responsibility for Trade, led Seychelles’ delegation at an ACP Ministers of Trade Meeting in Brussels. The Ministers adopted an “ACP Declaration on the 10th WTO Ministerial Conference” which is due to take place between 15th and 18th December, 2015, in Nairobi.

The Declaration, which welcomes the recent accession of Seychelles to the WTO, incorporates several concerns of the country, put forward by Seychelles’ team at the meeting, which was preceded by the Senior Trade Officials meeting.

On Fisheries subsidies: the Declaration requests that a decision on disciplines on fisheries subsidies that impact the food security of ACP State fisheries resources does not consign developing countries, especially SIDS, which will need subsidies for their expansion, to only artisans and small scale fishing.

On Aid for Trade: the Ministers called for abandoning of per capita criteria as the only measure to determine eligibility for Aid for Trade for WTO Members and recommended the use of different criteria.

On Flexibilities for LDCs (Least Developing countries), SVEs (Small and Vulnerable Economies) and NFICs (Net-Food Importing Countries): the Declaration calls for flexibilities in all future negotiations under Agriculture and Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA), as well as calls for due regard to be given to the priorities of SVEs in all areas of the negotiations to ensure their further integration into the multilateral trading system, as well as flexibility to be delivered for SVEs as part of any development outcome.

With the WTO Ministerial Conference for the first time being held in an ACP and African country, ACP countries are banking on as large a development outcome as possible, but 8 weeks ahead of the meeting, what the Nairobi package will consist of is not clear. That is why ACP states are making a very clear statement to Nairobi and beyond, on the need for the successful conclusion of negotiations which deliver on development. Meanwhile, ACP trade ministers are conscious that negotiations would be required if a ministerial declaration is to be adopted by consensus.