INTERIM PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT BETWEEN PACIFIC STATES, ON THE ONE PART, AND THE
EUROPEAN COMMUNITY, ON THE OTHER PART
JOINT TEXT INITIALLED ON 23 NOVEMBER 2007 IN BRUSSELS
Description of the agreement by the European Commission :
“On November 29 the European Commission initialled an Interim Partnership Agreement with the two main economies and exporters in the Pacific region, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The agreement enables both countries to benefit from significantly improved market access to the EU as from 1 January 2008. This will be an immediate boost for investment and growth in Papua New Guinea and Fiji due to new trade opportunities in sectors of interest to these countries, in particular fishery products.
This Interim Agreement is open to any other interested Pacific State. All sides reaffirmed their commitment to the ongoing negotiations on a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement containing arrangements for trade in goods and services, development co-operation, fisheries, trade related rules and other aspects with the whole Pacific Region. This comprehensive EPA is foreseen to be concluded by the end of 2008.
The Interim Partnership Agreement allows for 100% liberalisation by value by the EU as of 1
January 2008, with transition periods for rice and sugar. It allows for 88% liberalisation by
Papua New Guinea by value and 80 % liberalisation by Fiji over a time period of 15 years. It
covers 100% of EU tariff lines and 82% of Papua New Guinean and 80% of Fijian tariff lines.
Certain agricultural and forestry products as well as non agricultural processed goods are
excluded from liberalisation by both Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The main criterion of these
exclusions is the desire to protect infant industry and maintain fiscal revenues.
In the agreement the European Commission offers new and improved rules of origin, in
particular for fishery products and textiles. It is expected that these will help new investment
and employment opportunities in Fiji and Papua New Guinea."