The fifth trade committee under the EU-Pacific states interim EPA brought together Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the European Union. Solomon Islands and the Samoa were invited to participate as observers.
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.
The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources said the meeting involved discussions on the ‘way forward’ with the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement.
Papua New Guinea is still realigning internal issues and is not ready to make commitments under Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (Pacer-Plus) an official says.
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.
The deal could be signed as early as April and without the two biggest Pacific Island economies, PNG and Fiji.
Pacific Island countries are expected to sign the proposed regional trade deal called PACER Plus next month.
Fiji has signed a new version of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with its member countries
The negotiations are said to offer an opportunity to help Pacific Islands Forum countries benefit from enhanced regional trade and economic integration.
Papua New Guinea has made it clear it will not be taking part in the final negotiations for the Australia and New Zealand led "Trade and Development Agreement" saying it would instead be seeking to establish bilateral trade agreements of its own.
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 Melanesian Free Trade Agreement is expected to come into force after negotiations for a new deal concluded in Vanutau.
Indonesia and Papua New Guinea have agreed to forge relations between the two countries.
The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will have to work on the new and stronger MSG trade agreement (MTA) before the finalisation of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus.
PNG’s concerns about the current text on PACER-Plus makes common sense. Adam Wolfenden is from the Pacific Network on Globalisation, a group which has been critical of the deal explains.
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.
The Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, says it begs to differ with comments by the Chief Trade Advisor for the Pacific Island countries that PACER Plus agreement will allow members countries to regulate.
Papua New Guinea’s government says it will not support the PACER Plus regional agreement on closer economic relations.
Despite receiving little attention in Australia, efforts to establish a new regional trade agreement are raising eyebrows among Pacific neighbours
Papua New Guinea Prime Minister sees no reason why his country cannot become a member of TPP trade agreement.