Minister Tozaka was in Brussels from 21 – 27 October to attend the joint ACP-EU Ministerial Trade Committee Meeting. The Minister who led the Solomon Islands delegation which include the Trade Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Ma’ahanua, Director of Trade Mr. George Tuti and other senior government officials, was also in Brussels to meet with the EU to conclude the negotiations on Solomon Islands market access offer to accede to the Pacific-EU Interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The current parties to the Pacific-EU interim EPA are the EU, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
Solomon Islands intention to join the Pacific-EU Interim was to ensure certainty on its access to the EU market for its exports, such as tuna loins, palm oil, etc.
The Minister also met with senior officials at DG-Trade and the European External Action Service (EEAS) where the Minister discussed a number of issues of common interests, including trade, technical cooperation and support towards Solomon Islands preparations for its LDC graduation process.