7 Aug 2009

Solomon Islands PM says PACER Plus cannot start till stakeholders consulted

6:11 am on 7 August 2009

At least one Pacific Island Leader says the PACER Plus negotiations cannot commence until his government has consulted widely with all the stakeholders that will be affected by the proposed trading arrangement.

Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Dr Derek Sikua, has told the Pacnews agency that 2013 would be the ideal timeline for negotiations to begin.

He says countries such as Solomon Islands cannot be rushed and need more time.

Dr Sikua says the first step is the establishment of the office of the chief trade adviser after which countries will need to conduct their national consultations with all the stakeholders who will be affected.

On Tuesday, Pacific ACP Leaders, which represents 14 out of the 16 members of the Pacific Islands Forum met and resolved to hold off the commencement of PACER Plus negotiations, despite the recommendations of their Trade Ministers following meeting in Apia in June.