Pacific Islands / Pacific Forum
Heads of Pacific governments are moving forward with groundwork on negotiations for a renewed trading partnership with the European Union, as part of the larger African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.
PACER-Plus will have a serious impact on the ability for Solomon Islanders to determine for themselves their own development future.
The PACER-Plus model of development is based on an increasingly questionable form of economics which naively imagines that national economies will adapt automatically to enhanced price signals from liberalised international markets from which ’distortions’ are removed.
There’s been a call for more time to be given to Pacific civil society organisations and the private sector to assess the proposed regional free trade deal known as PACER Plus.
As released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand
Dozens of civil society groups in the Pacific have reiterated their criticism of the PACER Plus trade deal, and said it is likely to fail the people of the Pacific.
The PACER Plus Trade Agreement will be signed by 14 Pacific Island countries including Australia and New Zealand on June 14 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga.
One of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most insightful, if low key, foreign policy initiatives was to work to deepen relations with more than a dozen island nations of Oceania.
But 14-nation deal may be largely symbolic without Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
A new guide allows Pacific Islanders to better understand the impacts of the recently concluded and controversial regional Free Trade Agreement, known as PACER-Plus.
There were promises that the agreement would be for the benefit of the Pacific. But it has been shaped more by the advantages to Australia and New Zealand exporters than the aspirations of the Pacific’s people.
PNG and Fiji’s rejection shows that the agreement is heavily skewed towards the interests of Australia and New Zealand - despite early rhetoric that the agreement was about development needs.
Indonesia has proposed the setting up of a new trade bloc that could counterbalance the dominance of the United States and China.
The negotiations are said to offer an opportunity to help Pacific Islands Forum countries benefit from enhanced regional trade and economic integration.
Trade ministers from Pacific Island Forum countries including Australia and New Zealand gathered to try to sign off on the negotiations which have been going on for more than 8 years.
A meeting on Pacific labour mobility under the PACER Plus trade deal has a glaring omission – the voices of organised labour.
Defending Pacific ways of life: A Peoples Social Impact Assessment of PACER-Plus, was commissioned by the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) to provide Pacific governments, negotiators, parliamentarians, civil society actors, customary landowners and the private sector with an alternative assessment to the impacts that PACER-Plus will have on the region.
A new report says Pacific Island countries should walk away from the proposed PACER Plus free trade agreement, suggesting it puts Australia and New Zealand’s interests ahead of the Pacific.
The signing of a Pacific free trade deal in June has been thrown into doubt with the largest island nation Papua New Guinea saying it favours Australia and will damage local industries.
PACER-Plus is shaping up as an agreement that won’t fit into the Pacific reality, will have weak protections for Pacific businesses and undermines the ability of governments to enact policies to support and nurture vital Pacific industries.