Fiji to assess fairness of PACER Plus pact

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The Forum Trade Ministers Meeting in session in Suva. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Fiji Government will thoroughly assess the fairness and effectiveness of the PACER Plus agreement before it makes a decision on rejoining the trade agreement.

This was highlighted by Trade Minister Manoa Kamikamica at the conclusion of the Forum Trade Ministers Meeting last week.

The previous administration suspended Fiji’s membership of PACER Plus, a comprehensive development-focused free trade pact involving Australia and New Zealand due to concerns over its fairness to the Pacific Island countries.

Mr Kamikamica affirmed the Government’s awareness of these concerns and pledged to work towards ensuring Fiji derives tangible benefits from the deal.

“There is no compulsion to join PACER. But we thought, given that we are a new government, we will consider or evaluate PACER again, but as you alluded to some of the concerns that are currently prevalent in Fiji and those concerns still remain,” he said.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat deputy secretary general Esala Nayasi highlighted that discussions about PACER Plus would continue with regional leaders.

“So, it will continue to be an issue for the region, so as the Deputy Prime Minister said, the focus of today’s meeting was more on the proposed regional strategy.”

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