30 May 2006

PNG's Somare wary of trade liberalisation terms

12:03 pm on 30 May 2006

The Papua New Guinea prime minister, Sir Michael Somare, says Western nations are not serious about opening their economies to allow the fair trade of goods and services with developing countries.

Sir Michael made the comment in his opening address to the African Caribbean Pacific and European Union Council of Ministers' Meeting in Port Moresby.

He says market access to developed countries is still restricted by non-tariff barriers such as prohibitive quarantine and legal requirements.

Sir Michael says the EU's requirement for countries to be World Trade Organisation compatible in the new trading arrangement could be costly to some ACP states and undermine their fragile economies.

He says this would not help with the objective of eradicating poverty.

Sir Michael says ACP states should take a firm, united position on this critical issue.