Pacific Islands / Pacific Forum
The Pacific Islands Parties and the US are trying to reach a successor fish agreement following the US’s rejection of the Pacific’s proposal. Island nations are also seeking to solidify a regional strategy on fisheries for EPA negotiations with the European Union.
Following the 94th ACP Council of Ministers held December 2011 in Brussels, the Pacific region is committed to continue negotiating a comprehensive EPA as a single region. Negotiations will be concluded in 2012, as mandated by Pacific ACP Leaders in September 2011.
The ACP and LDC cane sugar suppliers express their profound concern and dismay at the Commission’s proposals in respect of the elimination of sugar quotas in the context of the CAP reform announced on 12 October 2011.
The Pacific ACP Trade Ministers, at their meeting in February 2011, agreed to continue negotiations of a comprehensive EPA with the EU as a single region with a view to concluding negotiations by the end of 2011. Fisheries is one of the key contentious issues for the Pacific region, and must be dealt with.
ACP–EU relations have been in existence for quite a while but what great gains has it achieved, for at least one of its small islands member in the Pacific, Palau, asks its former Vice President, Sandra Pierantozzi.
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has questioned the merits of trade agreements that serve to benefit the economically powerful more than developing economies.
Any regional economic agreement that excludes Fiji will be an ineffective instrument for trade and development says Trade Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
Pacific ACP countries have again reiterated their commitments to conclude negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) by the end of the year.
A comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union may not be possible for the region, Papua New Guinea believes.
“On the international stage, ACP-EU Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations have reached a stalemate in all regions except for the Caribbean,” said the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
“PACER-Plus is the most important economic negotiation that Forum Islands nations will undertake this decade, so you need to get it right.” So says Dr Chris Noonan, Chief Trade Advisor to Forum Islands Countries for the PACER-Plus free trade negotiations.
Civil society groups from the Pacific including churches, trade unions, gender groups, indigenous rights groups and advocacy groups launched a statement calling for a moratorium on negotiations for a new Pacific-wide free trade agreement known as PACER-Plus.
Despite being launched only a year ago by Pacific leaders, the negotiations on the Pacific trade agreement known as PACER-Plus are slipping away from the Islands.
The stalled negotiations on the EU-inspired Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Forum Island Countries finally resumed in Brussels.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji will pull out of the Trade Agreement negotiations.
Australia has been hoping that this week’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting will approve the formal start of negotiations on the proposed PACER-Plus regional free trade deal. But for months Canberra has been rejecting growing claims by regional opponents of a deal that its been unfairly pressuring Pacific nations to agree to the process.
Global recession, climate change and the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus) are expected to dominate the Pacific Islands Forum, a four-day program scheduled to begin tomorrow in Cairns, Australia.
Out of the nine resolutions made by trade ministers in the Pacific at their meeting in Samoa last month, seven were said to be concessions to their bigger neighbours of Australia and New Zealand.
Tactics employed by Australia and New Zealand to push Pacific Island countries into signing a free trade agreement are a form of “contemporary colonization,” said academic and respected analyst on Pacific Island affairs, Professor Jane Kelsey at a seminar in Auckland last week.