PM refuses signing of trade, economic agreement


PAPUA New Guinea has reiterated that it will not sign the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (Pacer-Plus).
Pacer-Plus is a trade and economic integration agreement aimed to create jobs, raise standards of living and encourage sustainable economic development in the Pacific region.
“I want to thank the Prime Minister (Peter O’Neill) for advising the Solomon Islands Prime Minister that PNG will not be a party to Pacer-Plus,” Maru said.
“I find it laughable that Australia will send again the Solomon Islands Prime Minister to try and lobby PNG into signing the Pacer-Plus agreement.
“How many times will I make it clear to Australia and New Zealand that Papua New Guinea will not sign the Pacer-Plus agreement that seeks to advance Australia and New Zealand’s commercial interest at the expense of our national interest?
“We will not sign and we will not listen to anyone. I’ve made that very clear. The same Australian Government is now visiting Indonesia. My message to Australia is stop sending any of your agents to PNG. Start talking about comprehensive partnership agreement with us.”
Meanwhile, Maru said PNG would be talking to Indonesia about a comprehensive trade agreement between the two countries.
“While Indonesia is our very big market, our biggest problem now is we don’t have connectivity. I’m aware of the comments made the Indonesian ambassador here.
“However, we don’t have a ship that does a route between Jayapura and Papua New Guinea. We don’t have air services. Without those two, it is very difficult to trade.

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