Minister calls off trade trip


NEW Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay has cancelled a trade visit to Fiji after Fiji’s Trade Minister Faiyaz Koya said Fiji was withdrawing from the Pacific-wide trade deal he was going to negotiate.
McClay was to travel to Fiji this week for talks on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (Pacer Plus) – a Pacific wide free trade agreement.
Koya said Fiji was withdrawing from the agreement, citing backtracks on key commitments by Australia and New Zealand.
PNG has withdrawn from the agreement saying it did not believe it would directly benefit Papua New Guinea. But Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said it would benefit other countries and should be concluded.
McClay said he had decided to delay the trip.
He said Fiji had raised issues about some aspects of the agreement which were agreed to by all Pacific Island countries.
“I do not believe Fiji’s statement is a fair reflection of the agreement as it stands,” McClay said.
Pacer Plus will be a high quality agreement which provides opportunities for all Pacific nations and one that recognises the individual developing nature of their economies. – New Zealand Herald

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