23 May 2008

Pacific Forum to look into single market and economy in Pacific

2:09 pm on 23 May 2008

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat is to study the idea of a single market and economy in the Pacific.

The acting secretary general of the Forum, Feleti Teo, says the creation of a single Pacific market is seen as a potentially important strategic response to overcome the issues of market smallness and isolation.

Mr Teo says the main rationale is to seek a response to the recent crisis in the petroleum market in the Pacific, but he says the study would look into other sectors including pharmaceuticals, as well as part of a phased movement towards a single market.

He says a single market and economy would see the phased creation of a single economic space in the Pacific with member countries would move to eliminate all barriers to trade in goods and services.

Mr Teo says it is consistent with the vision of leaders in the Pacific Plan and is a logical extension of the PACER and PICTA arrangements.