27 Oct 2009

Forum Secretary General says no timeline yet on PACER Plus

8:10 am on 27 October 2009

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade, says Trade Ministers have chosen not to put a timeline on when a regional common market deal might be completed.

Initial discussions on the PACER Plus agreement began at the weekend in Brisbane with a focus on national consultations and the establishment of a trade advisor's office in Vanautu.

In addition rules of origin, labour mobility, the use of development assistance to help trade and help with facilitating trade are all on the agenda.

Tuiloma says the Ministers realised they are not yet able to say how long the process will take.

"I think the structure remains open and I think it is probably a good idea for the Ministers to determine that they don't want to do that immediately and find that becomes unrealistic and becomes more of an imposition than a reflection of what is possible."

The Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Tuiloma Neroni Slade.