Push for PACER Plus progress

Fiji Times Online:

Tuesday, 14th June 2016

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) and regional trade ministers have called for trade negotiators to redouble their efforts and conclude the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus agreement this year.

"As we progress PACER Plus negotiations to conclusion, the full engagement of civil society and private sector are critical," said Andie Fong Toy, acting secretary-general at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Ms Fong Toy said it was a significant undertaking for the region for improved economic opportunities for the people of all forum island countries (FICs).

Civil society and private sector representatives from forum member countries were meeting in Nadi over the weekend for the sixth Non-State Actors (NSA) Dialogue on the PACER Plus, jointly organised by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA). The objective of the dialogue is to build on discussions from earlier NSA Dialogues, provide an update on the status of the PACER Plus negotiations, and facilitate further discussion of the issues covered in the negotiations.

A key element of the talks was the draft impact assessments currently being undertaken by the OCTA.

Dr Edwini Kessie, chief trade adviser, said the parties were keen on hearing the views of the NSAs on the issues being negotiated in PACER Plus. Dr Kessie said they believed their continued engagement would assist them to come up with a truly transformational agreement that would enhance the participation of the FICs in international trade.

Read story: Fiji Times Online

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