Cook Islands Prime Minister has signalled his government will shortly ratify a major regional trade agreement.
Pacer Plus has been promoted as a hybrid development and trade deal, with the primary benefits going to the nine Pacific countries that have signed the deal.
Samoa becomes the first of the Pacific Island nations and the third country overall to ratify the agreement, known as PACER Plus.
Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker has congratulated Samoa on their ratification of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus).
The Cook Islands’ decision to hit pause on the deal was over the country’s impending graduation from developing to developed-country-status. Under its new status it may no longer be eligible for official development assistance, including under PACER Plus.
The concerns held by Pacific communities and some Pacific island governments about the regional free trade agreement known as PACER-Plus are well founded according to new analysis released by the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG).
New Zealand has become the first country to ratify a Pacific free trade deal.
New Zealand Labour-led government’s ‘Trade for All agenda’ is somehow meant to re-engender confidence without addressing any issues.
PACER-Plus is a highly problematic FTA containing far too many concessions by Forum Island Countries to Australia and New Zealand, reshaping Pacific Island economies.
The PNG government is doing some soul searching over whether to join the Pacer Plus free trade deal and potentially could sign up by the end of the year.
PACER-Plus will undermine the right of governments to regulate, and see the Pacific bear the burden of binding commitments in the areas of interest to Australia and New Zealand whilst getting little legal commitments in return.
The Kingdom of Tonga’s Prime Minister, ’Akilisi Pohiva, threw more doubt over Tonga’s signature on the PACER-Plus free trade agreement.
Tonga’s prime minister has denied that Tonga has withdrawn from the regional trade deal known as PACER Plus.
Tonga’s prime minister says his country is no longer a signatory to the regional trade deal known as PACER Plus.
An analyst says New Zealand’s planned trade deal with the Pacific Island nations could be extremely damaging to their economies.
New Zealand risks being seen as a “strategic nincompoop, at best” if it persists with attempts to bind Pacific Island countries into the New Zealand and Australian economies using mechanisms such as the PACER Plus.
PNG and Fiji’s unwillingness to participate demonstrates that the agreement is heavily skewed towards the interests of Australia and New Zealand.
Australia has reiterated the importance of New Zealand to its foreign policy direction with particular emphasis on the role it sees New Zealand playing in its economic engagement with Pacific island countries.
Pacific countries already signed up to the PACER Plus are being urged to more closely examine their commitments under the deal, including the implications for customary land.
A new trade policy looks set to shift Papua New Guinea’s focus towards the development of bilateral ties and away from multinational agreements as part of broader efforts to create a more balanced trading environment.