Pacific Islands Trade Agreement

Australian aid and trade watchdogs denounce Pacific Islands Free Trade Agreement

Australian aid and trade watchdogs denounce Pacific Free Trade Agreement

SYDNEY: Independent Australian organisations, the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET) and AID/WATCH, Australia’s aid monitor, have voiced serious concerns about the PACER-Plus Free Trade Agreement currently being negotiated between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Countries. Both organisations assert that PACER-Plus will leave Pacific Island Countries disadvantaged, and ignores calls from Pacific Islanders who claim that this agreement is not in their interest.

Solomon Islands negotiator concerned development neglected in PACER-Plus

Last week trade negotiators from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Island nations met in Adelaide for the seventh Intersessional meeting of the PACER-Plus trade negotiations.

Robert Sisilo from the Solomon Islands Trade Negotiations Envoy expressed his concerns that the objective of PACER-Plus - to help Pacific Island Nations achieve economic growth and sustainable development - was being neglected in the ongoing negotiations. According to an article in the Soloman Star , Sisilo is concerned that Australia and New Zealand officials have "forgotton the reasons why PACER-Plus was launched".

Pacific Islands trade agreement progressing slowly

Progress on the PACER-Plus negotiations for a trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and 14 developing Pacific Island nations has been slow. The Pacific Islands are pushing for additional development assistance to be given as part of the trade agreement, which is being resisted by Australia and New Zealand. The Pacific Islands also want to include labour mobility in the deal, which would allow more Pacific Island workers in to Australia and New Zealand.

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.