The ‘plus’ as far as Australia and New Zealand are concerned is the inclusion of a chapter on development assistance. They also have young, fast growing populations that need opportunities and jobs. 3 While regional free trade agreements like PACER-Plus are generally designed with the aim of increasing cross-border trade and contributing to economic growth, it is increasingly Tonga not ready for new trade rules as PACER Plus comes into force on 13 December 7-Dec-2020 Matangi Tonga This is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) covering goods, services and investment. Negotiations on PACER Plus commenced in 2009 and concluded in Brisbane on 20 April 2017. Barton ACT 0221 Australia, Phone: +61 2 6261 1111 Originally excluding Fiji; but now willing to include Fiji; But Fiji claims they are not interested. Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus) The Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus) launched in Tonga on 14 June 2017. It also contains obligations to notify other Parties when introduced measures affect them. The MNP fact sheet provides further information. With the PACER-Plus regional free trade agreement back in the news recently, the Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) has released a new guide which they say will allow Pacific Islanders to better understand the impacts of the recently concluded deal. Pacific Scoop: Analysis – By Professor Wadan Narsey. Meeting these standards will increase opportunities for Pacific island countries in the global trading system, which is increasingly reliant on international standards and quality assurance. PACER Plus is an agreement that has been sold as a positive development outcome for Pacific Island Countries (PICs). What is economic and commercial diplomacy? The PACER Plus builds on the original PACER Agreement, ratified in 2001 as a framework for the gradual trade and economic integration of the economies of FICs and their largest neighbouring countries … An umbrella framework agreement, the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) was formalized on 18 August 2001 in Nauru and came into force on 3 October 2002.7It pilots the road for new trade relations and economic cooperation by providing guidelines for the future development of trade relations and development between Pacific Islands Forum member countries, which includes Australia … In April this year, trade ministers from Australia, New Zealand and 12 independent Pacific island states agreed to a regional trade agreement, the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus, to be signed in June — bringing to an end almost a decade of sometimes acrimonious negotiations. The PACER provides for free trade to be established gradually among Forum members, in line with the “stepping stone” approach preferred by the FICs – i.e. PACER Plus entered into force on 13 December 2020. It is expected that the PIC signatory states will ratify the Agreement in the coming months. Nations. At the end of 2018, two signatories completed internal processes on ratifying PACERPlus, New Zealand was the first to ratify PACERPlus in Oct 2018, followed by Australia in December 2018. Plus Agreement. PACER Plus, a reciprocal arrangement, maintains this market access but obliges Pacific island members to reduce import tariffs over time and to liberalise incoming services trade and investment. PACER Plus was signed by 11 countries in Nuku’alofa, Tonga in June 2017 and it is expected to enter into force when 8 of the signatory states ratify it. Five pillars of the Economic and Commercial Diplomacy Agenda, How the Economic and Commercial Diplomacy Agenda will operate in practice, Economic and commercial diplomacy in action, Quality assurance of performance reporting, Financing the Sustainable Development Goals, Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program, Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR), Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR), Visas for Australians travelling overseas, Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus, Institutional Arrangements and Forward Agenda, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Minister Assisting the Minister for Trade and Investment, Trade & investment data, information & publications, builds a framework of international rules that will, over time, increase predictability, transparency and stability in the regional business environment, especially in areas in which Pacific island countries trade. Pacific island countries face a range of development challenges including small domestic markets and narrow production bases, weak regulatory and private sector capacity, low savings and investment rates, as well as high trade and business costs. R.G. , The value of the agreement to the Pacific is disputed. in PACER-Plus, stakes that are routinely brushed off by the true believers of free trade. Collectively, these initiatives will create greater certainty resulting in increased business confidence and new opportunities for growth, jobs and rising living standards.  Fiji and Papua New Guinea, the two largest Pacific island economies, have refused to join, significantly undermining the value of the deal to the Pacific. Where and how Australia provides emergency assistance. A new trade agreement has been concluded between some of the Pacific island nations and their richer neighbours — Australia and New Zealand. The agreement expands the existing Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) to include further trade liberalisation and development assistance. Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) Suva, Fiji. PACER-plus negotiations began in 2009 with 14 Pacific Island countries involved in the talks. PACER Plus is the first trade agreement for the Pacific island countries to include commitments on services and investment in sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, tourism and energy. Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu have signed but not yet ratified the Agreement. PACER Plus is a trade and development agreement for the region to help overcome these challenges by making it easier for countries to trade, while creating jobs … PACER Plus is the prospective trade and economic agreement between Australia, New Zealand and the Forum Island countries. To help Australians avoid difficulties overseas, we maintain travel advisories for more than 170 destinations.  The removal of tariffs on imported Australian and New Zealand goods is expected to cause a significant loss of revenue to Pacific governments. PACER Plus is both a trade agreement and a development agreement. Refer to the article Tonga's signing of PACER Plus "invalid" says Attorney General. Australia i providing up to $4 million of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to assist Pacific island countries to prepare to ratify and implement the Agreement, and $19 million to support implementation of the Agreement. These provide a framework through which Parties will work together to identify needs for assistance, prioritise activities and evaluate progress.