Radio New Zealand International | 24 July 2008
Pacific ministers agree to broaden work on PACER
Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers have agreed that the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, PACER, must be about more than trade.
The New Zealand Associate Trade Minister, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, who was at this week’s meeting in Rarotonga, says there is an acceptance that what is called PACER Plus must include development and consider its member countries’ cultural context.
She says this may include setting up a regional office to focus on issues of traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights.
The Ministers wants more effort going into the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme and Luamanuvao says New Zealand is putting up around 370,000 US dollars to help this.
“What was also established was there was a need for a much more closer monitoring of the implementation of this programme and the Ministers mandated to establish a steering committee to oversee the activities to make sure that actions on the ground are really addressing this issue and there is to be regular reporting to the Ministers.”
— Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, New Zealand’s Associate Minister of Trade.