18 Oct 2010

Briefing for non state actors on Pacific's proposed PACER Plus deal

5:06 pm on 18 October 2010

What is being dubbed a historic meeting is underway in Solomon Islands with NGOs and other bodies being briefed by ministers about the proposed PACER Plus trade deal.

PACER Plus aims to bring a common market in goods and services to the Pacific.

The meeting in Honiara, is being chaired by former Fiji foreign minister, Kaliopate Tavola, who says it's a commitment to fully engage with non state actors.

He says it's a first of its kind with all different stakeholders in the one room.

Mr Tavola says basically it will look at at the processes leading to the negotiations.

The Pacific Islands Association of Non-government Organisations' interim director, Emele Duituturaga, says NGOs welcome the opportunity to raise the issues they have with the process.

The CEO of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisations, Mereia Volavola, says their involvement is critical because in any trade agreement the private sector is what makes the trade flow.