Government agencies have begun a series of consultations as part of the negotiations between the African Carribbean and Pacific group of states, and the European Union.

This is on the successor agreement between the two currently known as the Cotonou Partnership Agreement.

Signed in 2000, the Cotonou Partnership Agreement has been the framework for cooperative development and relation between the ACP states and the European Union.

Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Ioane Naivalurua formally opening today’s workshop held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Suva says the commencement of the current agreement will help Fiji reflect what it needs.

Ladies and gentleman it is important for us all to acknowledge that the EU is and remain an important ally and friend of Fiji.Fiji has an continues to benefit from its long standing relations with the EU as well as bilaterally with its member states.

Naivalurua says that this has certainly become more diverse over the years covering all aspects of our corporations in all sectors.

Under the current Cotonou partnership agreement Fiji benefits from the EU’s corporation package in three parts. The first at the bilateral level with EU under the national indictive program under a budget support of Euro 28 million was made available for the period 2014 -2020 to Fiji.

The Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs says that the expiration of the agreement only means a further development in relations with the EU.

Ladies and Gentlemen for me this means that the expiry of the Cotonou agreement in 2020 offers an exceptional opportunity to renew re invigorate our relations with the EU in line with our current future development priorities and aspirations.

The now expired agreement covered three key pillars of cooperation namely, development cooperation, political cooperation and economic and trade cooperation. Fiji’s own development with the EU is largely derived from this agreement.

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