PACER & PICTA

The Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) is an FTA on trade in goods among 14 members of the Pacific Islands Forum. (Australia and New Zealand are excluded.) It was signed in 2001. Eleven countries — Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu — have so far ratified PICTA. As of 2008, it is being expanded to trade in services.

The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations or PACER is a framework agreement to deepen trade and investment liberalisation in the broader Pacific on a step by step basis. It was signed in 2001 and came into force in 2002. PACER includes Australia and New Zealand, who are excluded from PICTA and commits all members to begin negotiations towards a free trade agreement by 2011 at the latest. In August 2008, Simon Crean, Australia’s Trade Minister at the time, started advocating a "PACER-plus" agreement, in lieu of the originally envisaged FTA, which signals the aggressiveness of Australia’s stance to achieve an agreement, particularly given the EU’s pending EPA with the Pacific Island states. A number of officials and civil society critiques from the Pacific Islands have stated that the PACER deal is of little benefit to them, some pushing for greater labour mobility for Pacific Island workers to Australia and New Zealand. In June 2011, Fiji’s Attorney-General charged that PACER is only really benefitting the economically powerful in the region – Australia and New Zealand.

last update: May 2012


    Articles

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  • 22-Apr-2016 Tahiti Infos La Polynésie pourrait-elle intégrer une zone de libre-échange océanienne ?
    La Polynésie et la Nouvelle-Calédonie pourraient intégrer une éventuelle zone de libre-échange océanienne, mais plusieurs défis restent à relever.
  • 15-Mar-2016 Fiji Times Focus on MSG trade agreement before PACER-plus: Sol Islands PM
    The Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) will have to work on the new and stronger MSG trade agreement (MTA) before the finalisation of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus.
  • 8-Mar-2016 Radio Australia PACER Plus trade deal suffers a blow after PNG objections
    PNG’s concerns about the current text on PACER-Plus makes common sense. Adam Wolfenden is from the Pacific Network on Globalisation, a group which has been critical of the deal explains.
  • 2-Mar-2016 SBS PNG attacks Australia at Pacific free trade talks
    The signing of a Pacific free trade deal in June has been thrown into doubt with the largest island nation Papua New Guinea saying it favours Australia and will damage local industries.
  • 12-Feb-2016 Fiji Times Realities of PACER Plus
    Since 1981 when Pacific states had a preferential trade agreement with Australia and NZ and the successor PACER in 2002, the old ways of doing business has changed.
  • 19-Jan-2016 Radio NZ PACER Plus flexibility on regulating ’misleading’
    The Pacific Network on Globalisation, or PANG, says it begs to differ with comments by the Chief Trade Advisor for the Pacific Island countries that PACER Plus agreement will allow members countries to regulate.
  • 18-Jan-2016 Radio NZ PNG Trade Minister opposes PACER Plus
    Papua New Guinea’s government says it will not support the PACER Plus regional agreement on closer economic relations.
  • 22-Dec-2015 Fiji Times The free trade theory versus the ...
    PACER-Plus is shaping up as an agreement that won’t fit into the Pacific reality, will have weak protections for Pacific businesses and undermines the ability of governments to enact policies to support and nurture vital Pacific industries.
  • 9-Dec-2015 FBC Fiji considers pulling out from Pacer Plus agreement
    Fiji may consider pulling out from the Pacific Agreement for Closer Economic Relations or PACER plus.
  • 8-Dec-2015 Matangi Tonga PACER-Plus renders weak protections for Pacific businesses
    PACER-Plus is shaping up as an agreement that won’t fit into the Pacific reality, will have weak protections for Pacific businesses and undermines the ability of governments to enact policies to support and nurture vital Pacific industries.
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    Links

  • PANG
    The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) plays the role of the Pacific regional “peoples’ watchdog on trade issues”.