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Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have signed up to Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Partnership Agreements; and if he will make a statement. (114283)

The European Union has held preliminary discussions about Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade partnership agreements with a number of countries in Asia and Africa. In late 2006 Malaysia and Ghana announced their intentions to proceed with formal negotiations. Indonesia did so on 8 January of this year and it is anticipated that several more countries will confirm their intention to proceed with negotiations by the summer. The length of negotiations will vary from country to country but we expect the first partnership agreement to be signed by the end of 2007.