Trade ministers, meeting within the Foreign Affairs Council, will seek to reach political agreement on the signing and the provisional application of a free trade agreement with Colombia and Peru and discuss the issue of a free trade agreement with Singapore.
The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on trade, growth and development.
It will hold a debate on a proposed revision of the regulation applying the generalised scheme of tariff preferences (GSP) (10052/11). The GSP, by which the EU grants developing countries preferential access to its market, is one of the EU's key trade instruments. The revision reflects changes in the global economic landscape, focusing support on the countries most in need and strengthening incentives for sustainable development and good governance.
The Council will also discuss a proposal for a regulation establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investment agreements between member states and third countries (11953/10). The proposed regulation seeks to ensure a smooth transition from the current member state system of bilateral investment treaties (BITs) to future EU BITs to be negotiated by the Commission under a new Union competence for foreign direct investment, introduced by Article 207 of the Treaty of Lisbon as part of the EU's common commercial policy.
Finally, ministers will take stock of the state of play regarding the signature and ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on enforcement of intellectual property rights. They will also discuss trade relations with the United States.
Event Meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council (trade ministers) - Justus Lipsius building, Brussels (10.00).
The presidency will hold a press briefing in the Council press room on Thursday 15 March at 14.00. A press conference will take place at the end of the meeting.