News 8 May 2017
The New Zealand and Pacific private sector have been provided with a briefing on the implementation process for PACER Plus, and what this landmark trade and development agreement means for the region.
Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development Matua Shane Jones introduced today’s session, organised by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), and staged at their Auckland office.
New Zealand’s Chief Negotiator for PACER Plus Tessa Te Mata then presented an informative update on the April 20 conclusion PACER Plus negotiations at a special trade minister’s meeting, in Brisbane, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.
The 14 countries participating in PACER Plus are NZ, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
Pacific Cooperation Foundation (PCF) Chief Executive Laulu Mac Leauanae says the Foundation supports the work of PACER Plus, and the opportunities it will provide for NZ and the Pacific.
“It’s a new type of trade agreement and it has a development component, which is really exciting,” Mac says.
“Not only do participating countries have a trade agreement in place but they will receive support for the implementation of the agreement.”
The development package of more than $55 million aims to help raise standards of living, create employment opportunities and increase export capacity in Pacific Island countries.
PACER Plus includes tariff phase out periods which recognise the vulnerable nature of many Pacific economies and the strong relationship they share with Australia and NZ, and the agreement will also create a common set of trading rules covering goods, services and investment in
support of economic growth.
A formal signing of the agreement is scheduled to take place in Tonga during June.
Contact MFAT for more information on PACER PLUS.