News 25 Oct 2018
New Zealand has become the first country to ratify a Pacific free trade deal.
Trade Minister David Parker said New Zealand yesterday ratified the PACER Plus agreement.
He said the other ten signatories showed clear momentum towards ratification at a recent meeting.
He said his government's goal was to bring the agreement into force by next year.
Yesterday, a report by the Pacific Network on Globalisation said Pacific Island signatories to PACER Plus will lose more than $US60 million each year under the deal.
From the Beehive:
New Zealand has completed its domestic procedures to ratify the PACER Plus trade and development agreement.
“We have notified Tonga as Depositary for PACER Plus. New Zealand is the first country to ratify the agreement,” Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said.
“I am pleased the other 10 signatories showed clear momentum towards ratification at the recent Solomon Islands meeting. Our goal is to bring this agreement into force as soon as we can in 2019.
“New Zealand, together with Australia, is providing significant development assistance to Pacific signatories to support their efforts to ratify in coming months. This reflects New Zealand’s long held view that PACER Plus is primarily a development FTA.”
The sooner PACER Plus enters into force, the sooner Pacific signatories can receive further benefits as part of the implementation phase.
“Pacific signatories will have a direct say in how those funds are spent as we work towards the goal of creating jobs and increasing prosperity in the Pacific,” David Parker said.
“I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with other Pacific Island countries to unlock the further benefits of this agreement.”
PACER Plus comes into force 60 days after at least eight of the eleven signatories have ratified. The other signatories are: Australia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
For more information about PACER Plus, including the full text of the agreement and various factsheets, visit https://www.mfat.govt.nz/PACER Plus