Trade Minister Wetang’ula attends ACP-EU Trade meetings 31/10/2012
Hon. Moses Wetang’ula, Kenya’s Minister for Trade, attended the 16th African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States’ Ministerial Trade Committee meeting and the 11th Joint African, Caribbean and Pacific – European Union Ministerial Trade Committee meeting (ACP-EU JMTC), held in Brussels, Belgium, on 22-26 October 2012.
The meetings were held pursuant to the provisions of Article 38 of the Cotonou Agreement, which established the ACP-EU Joint Ministerial Trade Committee (JMTC) and provides for it to meet annually. The JMTC is a political engagement between the ACP and the EU aimed at addressing ways of strengthening the ACP-EU trade relations.
The main purpose of the meetings was to discuss issues related to trade in the ACP region, relevant matters with regard to the ACP-EU trade relations, including the status of the negotiations, and the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA), other issues arising out of the ACP-EU trade arrangements and developments in the international trade scene. Other matters which were deliberated on included the Trade-related Capacity Building programmes, and the report on a Feasibility Study on an All-ACP Free Trade Area (FTA).
The Kenyan delegation to the meetings was led by Honourable Moses Wetang’ula, the Minister for Trade. Other members of the delegation included Eng. Abdulrazaq, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Ambassador Wamoto, Political & Diplomatic Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador M. Okeyo, Geneva, and Mr. Washington Oloo, Chargé d’Affaires, and other officials of the Kenyan Embassy in Brussels.
The Hon. Minister of Trade found time out of his busy schedule to pay a courtesy call at the Kenyan Embassy, where he had an opportunity to make a guided tour of the facility and later on addressed members of staff. The Minister reminded the staff of the importance of the Mission, given that it is accredited to the European Union, which is a critical partner to Kenya’s development agenda. He emphasized that staff should work with high professionalism and dedication to promote the good image of Kenya abroad, especially to the countries of accreditation, the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
Hon. Wetang’ula touched briefly on political developments in Kenya, and assured staff that everything is on course and elections are scheduled to take place as planned in March 2013. He noted that Kenyans at home and abroad should take the opportunity to exercise the right to choose their leaders.