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Pacer Plus agreement to be signed in Nuku’alofa in June 18th

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 21/04/2017

All 14 participating members of the Pacer Plus Agreement will sign the Pacific Regional trade agreement PACER Plus in Nuku’alofa in June 18th.

Minister of Trade – Hon. Dr. Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa said, this is the outcome of the negotiations concluded in Brisbane Australia this week attended by the CEO of InLand Revenue – ‘Anisi Bloomfield.

This follows nearly 10 years of planning. PACER Plus expected to enhance the economic development of Pacific island countries through greater regional trade with Australia and New Zealand.

Minister said Tonga fully supports the agreement, while parties to the agreement already have duty free access for exports to Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand’s Minister of Trade – McClay said the deal allows Pacific island countries to gradually phase out tariffs on imports in recognition of the vulnerable nature of their economies.

Critics of PACER Plus said the deal would deprive tariff revenue from Pacific island countries of essential services.

Dr. Tui’onetoa confirmed the agreement will bring more positive results to the country.

Absent from the conclusion at the negotiations were representatives from Papua New Guinea and Fiji, after both countries pulled out of the agreement.

The 14 countries participating in PACER Plus are New Zealand, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Kiribati, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

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