Pacific Islands Trade Agreement

Trade deal threatens essential services in the Pacific Islands

PACER-Plus negotiations towards a free trade agreement involving Australia, New Zealand and 14 of Pacific Island countries are underway this week in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and it is expected that trade in services will be discussed.

However, opening up all service 'markets' in vulnerable economies poses many threats to our island neighbours. Writing for Eureka Street, AFTINET campaigner Jemma Williams explains why.

Brisbane negotiating Round – 26th to 28th March 2012

On 26th March 2012 the Australian Government hosted the second Non-State Actors (NSA) meeting on PACER-Plus. This meeting is meant to be the premier consultative forum for NGOs and businesses interested in PACER-Plus.

The NSA was held before the Forum Island Trade Ministers Meeting, which took place on 27th and 28th March 2012 in Brisbane.


30 March 2012: Media coverage

Two short articles on March 30th 2012 on Radio New Zealand as a result of AFTINET joint media release with PANG issued on 28th March 2012.

Pac Trade Advisor says funding offer challenges Pacific sovereignty

Updated September 1, 2011 10:26:54
http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/pacbeat/stories/201109/s3307353.htm

The Pacific's Chief Trade Advisor, Chris Noonan, says Australia is still placing unacceptable conditions on funding for the Office he heads - an Office tasked with providing expert advice for the Pacific's negotiations with Australia and New Zealand for the proposed PACER Plus trade agreement.

Pacific Leaders Meeting - Auckland, New Zealand September 2011

Will Australia and New Zealand really allow sovereignty to Pacific Countries on Trade Decisions - media release 12th September 2011. 

AFTINET and AID/WATCH released a joint media statement on 12th September calling on the Australian government to reflect on the outcomes of the Pacific Island Leaders meeting and honour the sovereignty of the Pacific Island Countries. For a copy of the media release follow this link.

PACER-Plus - Australia must support an Independent Trade Adviser and Pacific Island Sovereignty

Ongoing funding for an Independent Office of Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA) has been a contentious issue, particularly in 2011.

Australia and New Zealand agreed to fund the OCTA for three years from its commencement in 2010. The first year of funding was agreed to very quickly and operations commenced under the Chief Trade Advisor (CTA).

Problems occurred when the contracts were due for the second and subsequent years of funding in early 2011. New Zealand and Australia placed unacceptable conditions onto the funding and into the proposed contracts.

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