24 Jul 2015

High hopes Pacific trade deal conclusion close

10:11 am on 24 July 2015
Edwini Kessie

Edwini Kessie Photo: Supplied

The Pacific's Chief Trade Advisor says the Pacer Plus trade talks have been re-energised and should be concluded by September next year.

Negotiations have been underway on the trade in goods and services deal, involving New Zealand, Australia and the island countries, for 8 years.

Dr Edwini Kessie says the advance comes with Australia this month committing to lift the cap on its seasonal employment scheme, and to extend it to the entire agriculture sector and to the tourism sector in some areas.

He says Australia has also extended the labour scheme to include all 14 island countries negotiating the Pacer Plus deal.

"That has re-energised negotiations. New Zealand has also increased the cap and it is also looking at the possibility of making further improvements to the RSE. The two countries have also agreed to the forum island countries to provide them with assistance to address supply-side constraints which have prevented them from taking advantage of trade agreements."

Dr Edwini Kessie.