Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement
This article is an introduction or guide to PICTA, PACER and the WTO in the Pacific. The ’guide’ gives readers basic knowledge of both trade agreements and the stepping stone function they provide towards the WTO re-colonising the Pacific.
Do the Pacific Islands’ negotiators genuinely hope they can negotiate a beneficial Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union or are they simply going through the motions and doing what is required of them under the Cotonou Agreement 2000? In the secretive chess game of trade negotiations it is impossible to know.
Most of us are usually kept in the dark when it comes to assessing the impact of trade agreements signed by our government. But this should not be the trend because whatever agreements are signed by our leaders eventually affect us all.
Fiji has announced it is ready to implement a regional free trade agreement, the Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), as soon as practicable.
Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island countries are likely to be forced to drop trade barriers earlier than planned to Australia and New Zealand.
Vanuatu has ratified the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA). The PICTA seeks to create a free trade area over a decade, initially starting with the Pacific Forum Island Countries, and providing for expansion to other trade partners in future.
It has been a relatively easy matter for Pacific Islands Country (PIC)
governments to sign regional trade agreements such as PICTA (Pacific Island
Countries Trade Agreement - excluding Australia and New Zealand) and PACER (Pacific Agreement for Closer Economic Relations - including Australia and NZ.)