6 May 2015

Pacific interests 'core' to PACER-Plus

7:38 am on 6 May 2015

The Chief Trade Advisor of the Pacific Island Countries, Edwini Kessie, says the interests of Pacific nations are at the core of PACER-Plus negotiations.

Edwini Kessie

Edwini Kessie Photo: Supplied

Representatives from Australia, New Zealand and 14 Pacific nations are meeting in Port Vila in Vanuatu this week for the next round of negotiations, which began in 2009.

PACER-Plus has been criticised as discounting the concerns of Pacific countries in favour of policy interests of Australia and New Zealand.

But Dr Kessie says that is not the case.

"We are trying to put the interests of the Pacific Island countries at the core, so very much would depend on the final shape the agreement takes but we are always constantly bearing in mind that the agreement should be of benefit to the Pacific Island countries."

Edwini Kessie says two areas the Pacific Island countries could get a lot of benefits is in labour mobility and development assistance.

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