PACER Plus talks

The Fiji Times:

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A SERIES of meetings on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus are being held in Nadi this week to progress the negotiations and seek input from the non-State actors (NSAs) on PACER Plus.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat Dame secretary general Meg Taylor says PACER Plus has an important role in forging regional integration in the Pacific.

"Forum trade ministers at their meeting in 2014 directed officials to intensify their engagement on PACER Plus, taking into account issues of importance to the forum island countries (FICs) and progress the negotiations in line with the roadmap adopted in 2013," Ms Meg said.

The seventh meeting of PACER Plus officials would be held on December 11.

"Officials are expected to bridge the gap in their positions on a number of issues paving the way for the conclusion of negotiations on some of the key priority issues in PACER Plus," Dr Edwini Kessie, chief trade adviser for the forum island countries said.

Immediately after the conclusion of the meeting, the fourth NSAs dialogue on PACER Plus will convene on December 12 to seek NSA input on the various aspects of PACER Plus engagement.

"The secretariat is committed to supporting an inclusive approach to the PACER Plus negotiations, ensuring that the NSAs are regularly briefed on the progress on PACER Plus and their input is taken into consideration as the Agreement takes shape," Ms Meg said.

"We will be working closely with the forum members and the OCTA to ensure that NSA engagement is an integral part of PACER Plus negotiations."

The PACER Plus agreement being negotiated between the 14 forum island countries, and Australia and New Zealand, is expected to boost private sector development and create economic growth and employment opportunities, and bring the forum economies closer.

Read story: The Fiji Times

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