PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES - Positive developments in negotiations to finalise trade agreements discussed during FAC Trade Council of Ministers.

Reference Number: PR172535, Press Release Issue Date: Nov 10, 2017

The latest state of play of trade agreements with strategic partners for the EU, including Japan, Mexico and Mercosur, were among the main issues discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council of Trade Ministers, held today in Brussels and attended by Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses Chris Cardona.

The Council meeting featured constructive discussions as the Commission provided insight into the possible outcomes of the next WTO Ministerial Conference (MC11) in Buenos Aires. The discussions noted the importance of achieving a concrete outcome at MC11 despite the difficulties lying ahead in taking certain discussions forward.  The EU is facing a challenging trade policy environment within the WTO, following the United States’ issue with the organisation’s judicial organ. Minister Cardona however stated that it should be in both the EU’s and the US’ mutual interest to avoid disruptions to the work of the WTO.

With regards to negotiations with Mexico and Mercosur, Minister Cardona stated that Malta supports a swift conclusion to the negotiations providing that the quality and high-level of ambition is not compromised. Minister Cardona noted that these agreements will contribute to the important network of trade agreements in the region, hence providing additional market access to our exporters and greater choice for our markets.

Considering the wider context of a dynamic global trade scenario, participants welcomed the positive developments in relation to these negotiations, especially since the current political momentum provides an opportunity to move these forward towards bilateral consensus and finalisation.​