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McCully Welcomes Fiji’s Leading Role In PACER Plus Talk

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, has welcomed the opportunity for Fiji to play a leadership role in the PACER Plus discussions. Mr McCully assured that New Zealand wants
18 Feb 2016 12:18
McCully Welcomes Fiji’s Leading Role In PACER Plus Talk
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully,

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, has welcomed the opportunity for Fiji to play a leadership role in the PACER Plus discussions.

Mr McCully assured that New Zealand wants to make sure they land this very important initiative for the region and on terms that include everyone as a winner.

PACER (Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations) Plus is a regional free trade agreement between the Pacific Islands countries and Australia and New Zealand.

It aims to enhance trade and development of the Pacific and bring economic benefits.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, said told Mr McCully whilst we appreciated this, it was something of real concern for us.

Mr Koya has already previously stated PACER Plus was meant to be a development agreement meaning securing long-term improved market access, preserving policy space especially the right to regulate for development.

It is also about creating employment, uplifting the livelihoods of all Pacific Islanders and achieving sustainable development. However, the agreement on the table so far does not achieve this.

Yesterday Mr Koya said: “I think that when we did make those statements, it was really about a development thing for us.

“It’s development-based. I’ll let the technical guys tell you where the exact problems are.”

Mr Koya said initially what happened was Fiji was not part of the negotiations.

But, he said: “Fiji was now in it and very serious about it. We were just asking that people take notice of what we are saying.

“I think there were certain parts of it where it was said this has been concluded and we are not going to go there again.

“Well for us it is really it’s never an end up to that side. It’s simple as that.”

Mr McCully said they were very much aware the important stand Fiji has to any sort of regional initiative particularly to one that involves the region.

“We also understand that the PACER Plus initiative is one that involves internal adjustments,” he said.

“The plus part of PACER Plus is always been designed for the development initiative underway to compensate for any additional competition.”

 

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