SPECIAL FORUM TRADE MINISTERS MEETING
26 August 2016
Addington Raceway and Events Centre Christchurch, New Zealand
“Leveraging PACER Plus as an instrument of economic growth and sustainable development of the Forum Island Countries”
The Special Forum Trade Ministers Meeting (FTMM) was held in Christchurch, New Zealand on 26 August 2016. The Premier of Niue and Ministers from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu were present. The Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Papua New Guinea were represented by a representative of their Trade Minister. Also present at the meeting were representatives from the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Meeting was chaired by the Honourable Todd McClay, the Minister of Trade for New Zealand. A list of participants is attached as Annex 1.
2. The objective of the Meeting was to consider the recommendations from the Special Forum Trade Officials Meeting on the outstanding issues in the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations, as well as the recommendations from the Special Pacific Labour Mobility Annual Meeting (PLMAM) and agree to the modalities for the conclusion of the PACER Plus agreement. The theme was “Leveraging PACER Plus as an instrument of economic growth and sustainable development of the Forum Island Countries”
3. The Chair, in his opening statement, acknowledged the high spirit of cooperation amongst the Forum Members and their efforts in progressing the PACER Plus negotiations. The Chair thanked the Trade Officials, the OCTA and the Forum Secretariat for advancing the negotiations and urged the Ministers to carefully consider the remaining outstanding issues for the conclusion of PACER Plus. He encouraged Members to accelerate completion of a high quality trade and investment agreement as mandated by the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in 2015.
4. In her introductory remarks, the Deputy Secretary General of the Forum Secretariat, Ms. Andie Fong Toy, highlighted the importance of the Framework for Pacific Regionalism and the PACER Plus in driving regionalism efforts. She urged Members to monitor the impacts of the