FORUM trade ministers will meet in Brisbane, Australia, this week to progress negotiation of the PACER Plus regional trade agreement.
The decision to begin negotiations of the agreement was made by Forum leaders at their meeting in Cairns last August
The special trade ministers meeting on Oct 23-24 was instigated by Forum leaders who directed trade ministers to meet and discuss a framework for PACER Plus negotiations including:
* Identification of issues common to all Forum Member Countries; and
* The issues for which a chief trade adviser may negotiate.
“This meeting marks the beginning of formal work to progress the PACER Plus regional trade agreement,” Tuiloma Neroni Slade, secretary general of the Forum secretariat, said.
“The decision to move forward with negotiations was made by leaders in Cairns at the recommendation of ministers.
“The Pacific Islands Forum secretariat looks forward to playing its part in progressing this important and historic agreement.”
Slade said he believed that PACER Plus would play an important role in furthering regional economic integration and in helping opportunities for economic growth and prosperity in Forum Island Countries.
In its broad objectives, PACER will set new development paths by providing member countries with necessary tools to create new market opportunities.