Minister of National Development and Planning Lucky Mulusa has called on the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to re-examine trade policy with their EU counterpart.

Mulusa who is leading a high-power Zambian delegation to the European Development Days (EDD 2017) Conference in Brussels, Belgium said it was time developing countries migrated from rhetoric to discussing issues that were more practical with potential to create wealth for least developed countries.

This is according to a statement issued by Zambia’s First Secretary for Press and Public Relations in Belguim Lambwe Kachali.

Mulusa said although trade remained a key component in discussions surrounding EU-ACP relationship post-Cotonou Agreement, it was critical for Africa to emphasise value addition as one of the drivers of job and wealth creation.

He called for an end to the existing trend of exporting raw materials among developing nations as doing so was synonymous to exporting jobs to developed countries while importing unemployment and poverty.

“This phase of discussions provides us with the opportunity to re-examine our trade policy and have a common denominator,” Mulusa said.

Mulusa expressed hope at the future of the ACP group in light of the willingness demonstrated by EU Member States in negotiating the framework around which the new partnership agreement would be anchored.

And Mulusa said it was encouraging to see how unified countries were in support of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
He said the fight against Climate Change requires countries’ combined efforts as the phenomenon has the potential to cause untold human catastrophe globally.

The European Development Days conference is organised by the European Commission: each year brings together key development actors from around the globe to discuss new ideas and share experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships, bolster innovative ways of finding solutions to most pressing challenges of the time.

This year, the development community has gathered to shape the debate around the main theme, “Investing in Development”.