ACP leaders to target intra-group trade


<p style="text-align: justify;">One of the important items on the agenda of the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) heads of state meet in Equatorial Guinea in December this year is the promotion of trade and cooperation on technical matters within the ACP grouping. <!--more--></p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">ACP comprises 48 nations from Africa, 16 from the Caribbean, and 15 from the Pacific region collectively representing nearly one billion people on the planet.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In 2012, the ACP group will focus on strengthening South-South solidarity and collaboration, according to Secretary General Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who addressed the world media last week. The ACP group of nations is one of the most challenged groupings in terms of aching development indices and integration into the world’s economy and global trade.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Forty countries of the group fall into the category of Least Developed Countries (out of a total of 48 globally) and 36 Small Island Developing States (of which many are in the Pacific Islands region).</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Last December, the ACP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the IBSA states (India, Brazil and South Africa), to promote technical cooperation and dialogue. This partnership is expected to boost the ACP countries’ efforts to join the world’s mainstream trade activity.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">“We do wish to deepen our relationships amongst ACP states, as well as other developing countries which share our goals of alleviating poverty, and promoting the effective, fair and gradual integration of our nations into the world trade system,” Dr Chambas said last week.</p>
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