RELEASE: Forum welcomes Vanuatu’s Move Towards Economic Partnership Agreement Accession

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna welcomed Vanuatu’s decision to explore its interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU.

The move follows Vanuatu Prime Minister Honourable Ishamel Kalsakau communications to the EU Trade Commissioner in Brussels last year.

“The agreement which will allow better market access for Vanuatu products to the European Union market will avail positive Trade and Investment options with potential economical and social impact for the people of Vanuatu” SG Puna said.

Supporting the accession and the EU trade partnership, “Vanuatu has been considering acceding to the PACP-EU Interim Economic Partnership Agreement not only to safeguard its future preferential market access, but further strengthen ties with the EU through increased trade and investment opportunities,” Prime Minister Kalsakau said.

He expressed his gratitude to the Pacific Islands Forum’s EU-funded Strengthening Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade (SPIRIT) project for facilitating the preparatory processes with government and private sector stakeholders.

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands are the four existing Pacific parties to the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU. Tonga, Timor Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Niue are in various preparatory stages towards accession. [ENDS]



The Strengthening Pacific Intra-Regional and International Trade (SPIRIT) project is a EUR 5.75 (FJD$14) million programme funded by the European Union and implemented by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. For further information, visit


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