SUNBIZ

Australian Govt confident on PACER Plus Negotiations

  The Australian Government is confident that eight years of negotiations over the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, PACER Plus with Fiji will come to a fruitful conclusion. During
01 Feb 2017 14:27
Australian Govt confident on PACER Plus Negotiations
Australian Assistant Minister for Trade and Tourism Keith Pitt in Suva yesterday. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

 

The Australian Government is confident that eight years of negotiations over the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, PACER Plus with Fiji will come to a fruitful conclusion.

During a press conference in Suva yesterday, Australia’s Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Keith Pitt said Fiji as a sovereign nation would make its own decision.

He met Fiji’s Minister for Tourism and Trade, Faiyaz Koya yesterday where they discussed the issues involving PACER Plus Agreement.

Mr Koya said Fiji was trying to work out trade issues before finalising its decision.

“We are still in the negotiation stages,” he said.

Mr Koya said trade agreements in any country would take long.

He said Fiji had trade issues to discuss with Australia and New Zealand.

“We are awaiting the issues to be taken to cabinet before any decision is made and right now it is progressing,” Mr Koya said.

He said they discussed other general trade issues apart from PACER Plus.

He added Australia and number of other countries aimed to push forward with PACER Plus Agreement which had been in discussions for negotiations over the last eight years.

“We would like to take those negotiations to a fruitful end and in saying that I understand Fiji is a sovereign nation and will make its own decision in its best interests,” Mr Pitt said.

He further said they also wanted to see an agreement on market offers by the first quarter of this year.

Mr Pitt said negotiations were substantial and there was a need to push the agenda forward.

He said they believed it was a good deal but they needed to get to a point where market offers were tabled before further negotiations.

“We are very ambitious in the agreement but we are confident that we will reach a conclusion on PACER Plus,” Mr Pitt said.

He said a trade negotiation was a continuous process.

“When you stop negotiations, your trade competitors go past, the current environment we need to finalise agreement which we have negotiated for many years,” Mr Pitt said.

He said there was substantive commitment from them and New Zealand as far as the ratification of PACER Plus Agreement was concerned.

Mr Pitt said Fiji was encouraged to table its market offers for access but the decision was for the Fijian Government to make.

He said they aimed to include Fiji as a foundation member.

Mr Pitt said Fiji being a democratic state, needed to ratify this in Parliament.

He said negotiations were expected to come to a conclusion at the end of this year.

EDITED BY: KATHRIN KRISHNA



Five Square


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Covid 19 - SPC
Total
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper