A series of meetings on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus are being held in Nadi, Fiji this week to progress the negotiations and to seek input from the Non-State Actors (NSAs) on PACER Plus.
“PACER Plus has an extremely important role in forging regional integration in the Pacific,” Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Dame Meg Taylor said. “Forum Trade Ministers at their meeting in 2014 directed officials to intensify their engagement on PACER Plus, taking into account issues of importance to the Forum Island Countries (FICs) and progress the negotiations in line with the Roadmap adopted in 2013,” Dame Meg added.
The Seventh Meeting of PACER Plus Officials will be held on 11 December. It will be preceded by preparatory technical meetings during the week, coordinated by the Office of the Chief Trade Adviser (OCTA).
“Officials are expected to bridge the gaps in their positions on a number of issues paving the way for the conclusion of negotiations on some of the key priority issues in PACER Plus,” Dr Edwini Kessie, Chief Trade Adviser for the FICs said.
Immediately after the conclusion of the Seventh Meeting of PACER Plus Officials, the Fourth NSAs Dialogue on PACER Plus will be convened on 12 December to seek NSA input on the various aspects of PACER Plus engagement.
“The Secretariat is committed to supporting an inclusive approach to the PACER Plus negotiations, ensuring that the NSAs are regularly briefed on the progress on PACER Plus and their input is taken into consideration as the Agreement takes shape,” Dame Meg said. “We will be working closely with the Forum Members and the OCTA to ensure that NSA engagement is an integral part of PACER Plus negotiations.”
The PACER Plus agreement being negotiated between the 14 Forum Island Countries, and Australia and New Zealand, is expected to boost private sector development and create economic growth and employment opportunities, and bring the Forum economies closer.
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