Samoa signals its intention to join the iEPA

Given on-going blockage in the negotiations for a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between the Pacific and the EU, Samoa has decided to trigger the process to formally join the iEPA.  To this end, Ambassador Luteru on 6 December 2016 handed over to the Director of Trade, Ms Sandra Gallina, a Note Verbale confirming Samoa’s interest to accede to the iEPA arrangement.  Whilst recognising the significance of acceding to the iEPA, Samoa will continue to promote and explore alternative market access opportunities for its exporters and entrepreneurs.

In addition, the same notification has been formally submitted to Papua New Guinea and Fiji as the only two Pacific ACP members who have ratified the interim Economic Partnership Agreement.  All parties will now work towards developing an accession plan to ensure that Samoa meets all the necessary requirements to allow it to formally join the iEPA arrangement.