Pacific Islands / Pacific Forum
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.
Pacific Island countries, including Solomon Islands, have told the European Union they remain committed to concluding a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement by year’s end. And because not all of them will sign up to the ‘trade in goods’ part, they want to focus on issues where agreement can be easiest reached.
The Rudd Government has made much of its “new approach” to Australia’s island neighbours, but the view from the Pacific is that not much has changed.
One juicy Australian-grown aid patty, some aromatic seasonal labour sauce all held together within the iron clad guarantee of two trade liberalising pieces of white bread and a smattering of forest carbon partnership-flavoured fries. What financially famished island state could resist?
Pacific NGOs, churches and trade unions working on trade justice issues are concerned about the push for free trade agreements in the Pacific and the grave risk that these agreements pose for our people.
Pacific NGOs, churches and unions have released a joint statement on trade justice in the Pacific warning of the costs of a free trade deal with Australia and NZ, and urging Pacific leaders to be wary that a new seasonal workers’ scheme could be used as a bargaining chip to enter free trade negotiations.
Under pressure to sign on to new free trade agreements, Pacific Islands governments interested in securing positive outcomes for their peoples see deals on labour mobility as potential development gains. But is this the right approach? And what are the potential costs?
Australia has been accused of trying to fast-track new free trade negotiations with Pacific Island countries at a recent regional trade ministers’ meeting in the Cook Islands.
This may include setting up a regional office to focus on issues of traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights.
Sovereignty must be partially surrendered if Pacific islands countries are to maintain solidarity in trade negotiations. Pacific countries who are members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific bloc of states had a rude realisation of this basic and age-old truth in their on-going negotiations with the European Commission for an economic partnership agreement.
Tuvalu has become the 11th Pacific Forum Country to ratify the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA).
New letters show extent of dissent among Pacific trade ministers as ministers accuse top EU trade official of being "domineering" and using divide and rule tactics to split the region.
Senior trade officials from around the Pacific region will finalise trade deals as an extension to the existing Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement by October.
The Pacific ACP Trade Ministers from the region have agreed to proceed as a group with negotiations of a comprehensive economic partnership agreement with the European Commission by the end of the year.
APRN have uploaded some of the papers and PPT presented at the “To Oppose FTAs: Making People Matter” held last September 4-6, 2007 in Sydney, Australia.
The Pacific Network on Globalisation warned Pacific governments to be wary of viewing Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement as "stepping stone" towards free trade deals with rich nations.
The tiny island nations of the south Pacific should have high ambitions heading into free trade negotiations with Australia, Trade Minister Simon Crean says.
Initialled by Papua New Guinea and Fiji on 23 November 2007
Pacific Islands countries have been given a breathing space after the European Commission decided to extend the deadline for the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the two parties to December next year. However, negotiations will be held this month on an interim agreement on the trading of goods and possibly services.
An FTA between China and the Pacific will be lopsided in favour of China, says Rohan Ellis, head of the Beijing-based Pacific Islands Forum Trade Office