28 Sep 2005

Forum plan outlines better market access for Pacific countries

7:47 pm on 28 September 2005

The just released final draft of the Pacific Plan lays out proposals for expanding trade including more access for island countries to the New Zealand and Australian markets.

The draft, compiled by the Pacific Islands Forum, will go to regional leaders for endorsement at a summit in Port Moresby next month.

The Plan calls for an expansion of trade arrangements under the Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement or PICTA and the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, or PACER.

The Forum secretary general, Greg Urwin, says there is a desire for the PACER deal, which includes New Zealand and Australia, to become more comprehensive and include services as well as goods.

"Whether there is room for services arrangement within that context. Whether a broader agreement might have some other features in it, a bit more about development assistance for example."