Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill says he would like to explore the possibility of a free trade agreement between Fiji and PNG.
The dialogue will cover political and economic developments in Fiji and EU and other aspect including the upcoming general elections, climate change, economic partnership agreement, human rights and development cooperation.
Fiji and Papua New Guinea have held talks with Britain to ensure trade isn’t disrupted post Brexit.
PNG and Fiji’s unwillingness to participate demonstrates that the agreement is heavily skewed towards the interests of Australia and New Zealand.
The fifth trade committee under the EU-Pacific states interim EPA brought together Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and the European Union. Solomon Islands and the Samoa were invited to participate as observers.
The Minister for Industry, Trade, Tourism, Lands and Mineral Resources said the meeting involved discussions on the ‘way forward’ with the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement.
Fiji’s trade minister Faiyaz Koya says Fiji will approach Australia after missing out on the conclusion of the PACER Plus talks.
Fiji did not pull out of the PACER Plus trade negotiations. It had been excluded.
PNG and Fiji’s rejection shows that the agreement is heavily skewed towards the interests of Australia and New Zealand - despite early rhetoric that the agreement was about development needs.
The deal could be signed as early as April and without the two biggest Pacific Island economies, PNG and Fiji.
Pacific Island countries are expected to sign the proposed regional trade deal called PACER Plus next month.
Fiji has signed a new version of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with its member countries
Fiji has reportedly withdrawn from negotiations for the proposed PACER-Plus regional free trade agreement.
The negotiations are said to offer an opportunity to help Pacific Islands Forum countries benefit from enhanced regional trade and economic integration.
Defending Pacific ways of life: A Peoples Social Impact Assessment of PACER-Plus, was commissioned by the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) to provide Pacific governments, negotiators, parliamentarians, civil society actors, customary landowners and the private sector with an alternative assessment to the impacts that PACER-Plus will have on the region.
Pacific island governments should retain their legal right to regulate to protect their national development interests, which include the ownership and control of land, natural resources and environment, as well as the social and economic rights of their people ahead of the empty development promises from Australia and New Zealand and walk away from the regional trade talks known as PACER-Plus, a new report released today recommends.
A Melanesian Free Trade Agreement is expected to come into force after negotiations for a new deal concluded in Vanutau.
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.
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.
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.