Lithuanian Presidency in EU external trade marked by results bringing significant economic benefits, says deputy foreign minister

18 December 2013, Last updated at, 09:32 EET
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author: European Parliament

Speaking to the European Parliament Committee on International Trade (INTA) on December 17, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Rolandas Kriščiūnas underlined that the Lithuanian Presidency managed to attain key objectives in the field of external trade that will bring openness and new opportunities for EU growth.

“We faced a very dynamic and productive six months that marked progress and considerable results, in both multilateral and bilateral fields,” said Rolandas Kriščiūnas.

In this respect, Deputy Minister highlighted the long-awaited WTO Bali agreement that was achieved at the very last moment; ambitious agreement reached with Canada; the qualitative changes that took place in the Eastern Neighbourhood policy; the opening of negotiations on the investment agreement with China.

Assessing the results of Eastern Partnership Summit, which was a milestone of the Lithuanian Presidency, Deputy Minister Kriščiūnas stressed that the Summit proved to be successful, first of all, due to the full initialling of the Association and Free Trade Agreements with Georgia and Moldova. Deputy Minister added that despite Ukraine’s decision to suspend the process leading to the signature of the Association Agreement, the EU offer remains on the table as the EU is committed to the Ukrainian people who show determination to choose the European path.

Deputy Minister noted good progress achieved in the EU–US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations, took stock of other ongoing negotiations, including with Japan and ASEAN countries, as well as work in addressing non-implementation issues of Russia’s commitments to the World Trade Organization.

Discussing the legislative work, Rolandas Kriščiūnas thanked the INTA Committee for excellent cooperation in the process of adoption of the Regulation extending autonomous preferences to Moldova as well as moving forward with the current legislative proposals. In particular, Rolandas Kriščiūnas noted good progress achieved jointly examining the Enforcement Regulation and important work done on the Regulation on financial responsibility in investor-to-stated dispute settlement. Deputy Minister wished the European Parliament and the incoming Greek Presidency to bring matters to a successful conclusion.

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