Non-state actors meet to discuss PACER Plus

Fiji Times Online:

Monday, 13th June 2016

In a bid to complete negotiations on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations or PACER Plus by the end of this year, civil society and private sector representatives from forum countries began a two-day meeting in Nadi last week.

Jointly organised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA), the meeting which ends today is designed for non-state actors to discuss the status of negotiations.

Andie Fong Toy, acting secretary general at the PIF secretariat, said a key element of the talks would be on the draft impact assessments currently being undertaken by OCTA.

"As we progress PACER Plus negotiations to conclusion, the full engagement of civil society and private sector are critical," he said.

"The Forum Leaders and Trade Ministers have called for trade negotiators to redouble their efforts and conclude the PACER Plus agreement this year.

"It is a significant undertaking for the region for improved economic opportunities for the people of all Forum island countries."

Chief trade adviser at OCTA Dr Edwini Kessie said all parties were keen to hear the views of non-state actors on the issues being negotiated in PACER Plus.

"They believe that their continued engagement will assist them to come up with a truly transformational agreement that would enhance the participation of the FICs in international trade," he said.

PACER Plus is a trade and economic integration agreement that aims to create jobs, raise standards of living and encourage sustainable economic development in the Pacific region between Forum island countries and Australia and New Zealand.

Read story: Fiji Times Online


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