Trade pacts help attract investors


Regional trade agreements (RTA) and free trade agreements (FTA) help attract investors, explore new business opportunities and can create new jobs.
Secretary for Commerce and Industry Andrew Liliura said RTAs and FTAs allowed the opportunity for unhindered free trade between members and easier movement of investment technology and ideas.
Liliura, during his welcome speech on Saturday at the Apec senior officials’ meeting symposium on how RTAs and FTAs can contribute towards economic growth, said the reason for negotiating FTAs was because PNG wanted freer trade.
He said economists disagreed about a lot of things, but the superiority of free trade over protectionism was no longer controversial.
“I believe it is safe to assume that all of us here are aware that like free trade itself, trade agreements create winners and losers between and within economies,” Liliura said.
“By gathering here, member economies recognise that in some economies, some trade deals have contributed to inequalities in certain sectors.
“So the question is: Why don’t FTAs work as envisaged or what do FTAs really do? And under what conditions will FTAs truly contribute to economic growth?”
Liliura said the main idea behind the symposium was to enhance understanding of how economies could maximise contributions.
It also wanted to as much as possible try to minimise the negative impacts trade deals and agreements could have on different sectors of economies.
He said that most of the economies represented were contracting parties to one or more trade agreements.
Liliura said the collective experience was huge and believed other economies could learn from such experience to help negotiate comprehensive and quality trade agreements that were mutual.
“We are also aware that the contemporary trade agreements these days go much beyond traditional trade restrictions at the border,” he said.
“(They) cover regulatory standards, health and safety rules, intellectual property, labour, banking and finance, the environment and many other subjects.”

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