13 Jun 2011

Pacific currency unlikely Forum issue - academic

4:31 am on 13 June 2011

A Fiji economist says it is unlikely Pacific Islands Forum leaders will discuss a single currency when they meet in Auckland in September,

A Samoan opposition MP, Motuopua'a Dr Aisoli Va'ai, is calling for the government to push for a common currency for the Pacific.

University of the South Pacific economist, TK Jayaraman, says a single currency is a long-term goal, requiring more regional integration than the Pacific has.

He says now is probably not the right time to be thinking about a regional currency.

"These are difficult years, in fact the subject of a single currence at this stage...we are not yet returned to the normal years. We are still in the great recession. So one has to wait before thinking in terms of a single currency. But before that, remember, single currency is the ultimate nirvana."

TK Jayaraman says if forum leaders can make progress on the Pacer Plus regional trade agreement, it would bode well for the future.