EU opens market to Palestinian exports 14Apr11 April 15, 2011

Ma’an News Agency  -  14 April 2011

On the sidelines of this week’s Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting in Belgium , EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton announced the signing of a deal that would open West Bank and Gaza markets to Europe.

The agreement gives – effective immediately – all agricultural products, processed agricultural products and fish and fishery products originating in the West Bank and Gaza Strip duty free access to the EU market.

“Facilitating Palestinian trade is a crucial element of the state building process which the EU is supporting both politically and financially. This agreement is the tangible expression of our support,” said Ashton.

Palestine is currently the smallest trading partner for the EU in the Euro-Mediterranean region and almost worldwide, with total trade amounting to $82 million in 2009 where the vast majority of it is accounted for by EU exports.

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