A roundtable discussion for the enhancement of the cooperation between the EU and the Commonwealth on agriculture, climate change, the blue economy and trade was organised in London earlier this week by the Cyprus High Commission in the UK.
The discussion was held in association with the Royal Commonwealth Society and it featured as the main speaker the Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Nicos Kouyialis. The participants were High Commissioners and representatives from all Commonwealth member-countries.
In his address, the Minister noted that the two organisations need to be collaborating effectively and more closely together on the sectors of agriculture, environmental policies and the blue economy since for most of the Commonwealth countries these sectors are the main driving forces of economic development and survival. A more specific subject of cooperation is the protection of oceans and dealing with marine pollution.
Kouyialis also updated the participants on the procedures within the EU for securing free trade agreements with third countries, in view of the upcoming negotiations with Australia and New Zealand.
The Commonwealth countries Ambassadors thanked the Cypriot Minister of Agriculture for explaining the ways of the EU on the sectors in his jurisdiction and they also expressed their gratitude for the Republic of Cyprus’s efforts to promote and institutionally strengthen the relationship between the Commonwealth and the EU.
The Cyprus High Commissioner in the UK Euripides Evriviades presented the initiatives which Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has taken over the last couple of years during his tenure as Chairman of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group in order to promote the two organisations’ working relation.
The discussion confirmed the importance that the Commonwealth member-countries attribute to enhancing trade with the EU member-countries, through liberalising trade and simplifying EU commercial processes in importing goods from the Commonwealth.
Investment and trade between Commonwealth countries will be among the top issues expected to be discussed during next April’s Commonwealth Summit in London.