The next round of the controversial PACER Plus free trade negotiations will be held in Vanuatu this week.
The negotiations between Australia, New Zealand and 14 Pacific nations include agreements on trade in goods and services, investment, labour mobility and development.
Launched in 2009, the negotiations have taken longer than first anticipated, with some nations skeptical about the proposed benefits of the agreement.
The Chief Trade Advisor of the Pacific Island Countries, Edwini Kessie, has defended PACER Plus, saying it will help strengthen economies and enable them to deal with the effects of natural disasters.
Negotiations are hoped to be concluded in July.