Australia and New Zealand are being accused of fast-tracking the Pacific-wide free trade agreement, PACER-Plus. Civil society organisations want a moratorium on negotiations.
Despite being launched only a year ago by Pacific leaders, the negotiations on the Pacific trade agreement known as PACER-Plus are slipping away from the Islands.
A critical look at the likely implications of a free trade agreement dubbed Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER-Plus) between the island countries and Australia and New Zealand on food sovereignty.
Trade ministers from Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island countries will meet in Brisbane for two days from Friday as negotiations are launched for the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER-Plus).
Fiji’s Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says Fiji will pull out of the Trade Agreement negotiations.
An agreement was reached to progress Pacer Plus, the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, and to keep Fiji informed but not formally involved in the process.
Australia and New Zealand Friday denied bullying Pacific Island nations into starting negotiations for a controversial regional free trade deal.
Opponents say island countries’ local industries would be destroyed by cheaper imports and govts would lose much of their revenue if tariffs and duties were lifted on Aussie, NZ goods
Australia has been hoping that this week’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting will approve the formal start of negotiations on the proposed PACER-Plus regional free trade deal. But for months Canberra has been rejecting growing claims by regional opponents of a deal that its been unfairly pressuring Pacific nations to agree to the process.
Global recession, climate change and the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus) are expected to dominate the Pacific Islands Forum, a four-day program scheduled to begin tomorrow in Cairns, Australia.
Out of the nine resolutions made by trade ministers in the Pacific at their meeting in Samoa last month, seven were said to be concessions to their bigger neighbours of Australia and New Zealand.
Tactics employed by Australia and New Zealand to push Pacific Island countries into signing a free trade agreement are a form of “contemporary colonization,” said academic and respected analyst on Pacific Island affairs, Professor Jane Kelsey at a seminar in Auckland last week.
This weekend’s meeting of Pacific trade ministers in Auckland to progress the launch of PACER+ trade negotiations has all the hallmarks of an Australian and New Zealand ambush, the Arena network said today.
The Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) has prepared a fact-sheet (10 Reasons to Challenge PACER-Plus) outlining concerns about a potential free trade agreement between Australia/New Zealand and the Pacific Island countries. Concerns include dramatic losses in government revenue, an undermining of public services, potential threats to indigenous land-rights, business closures and job losses.
The idea of a South Pacific free trade zone is a dream which has remained elusive for many years, mainly because many island nations are heavily dependent on import tariffs to maintain government services. Despite this, Australian Trade Minister Simon Crean has been touring the region in an attempt to generate new support for the concept.
Vanuatu’s government has indicated its support for a proposed regional free trade deal between Australia, New Zealand and the wider Pacific region.
Tonga’s Trade Minister says it’s unfair for people to criticise the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations or PACER PLUS until it is properly implemented.
Governments in Australia and New Zealand are keen to assure Pacific nations that relations with the region are marked by ‘shared development goals’, but as Maureen Penjueli writes, the islands’ ‘big brothers’ have been pushing an agenda of their own—especially when it comes to negotiating a regional free trade agreement.
The Rudd government has made much of its ’new approach’ to Australia’s island neighbours, but the view from the Pacific — especially of the aggressive pursuit of a new free trade deal as part of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) — is that not much has changed.
Not all Pacific Islands countries are ready to open their doors to free trade under the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), according to the Pacific Islands ACP Trade Ministers’ Meeting that was held in Fiji this week.