28 Sep 2005

Pacific Plan final draft wants improvements in trade to be implemented immediately

1:18 pm on 28 September 2005

Much of the initial emphasis in the Pacific Plan for strengthening regional co-operation and integration is to be on expanding trade and improving access for labour.

A final draft of the plan, which has just been issued by the Pacific Islands Forum, is expected to be endorsed by regional leaders in Port Moresby next month.

DW reports.

"The draft outlines a series of moves that can be made immediately and others that need still require development."

From next year the Plan calls for the expansion of trade under the various agreements - SPARTECA, PICTA and PACER.

It also wants to open the region to the trade in services including the temporary movement of labour.

The Plan says trade can be assisted by improvements in quarantine, customs and confomity in standards.

It proposes an action plan to put in place reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy for the region's sustainable development.

The Plans wants a harmonised approach in the health sector to fight diseases such as HIV/AIDs and to improve training and facilities.

It suggests that a regional Ombudsman position be created along with other human rights mechanisms, along with a regional audit service, as part of the Plan's focus on good governance.