Thursday, July 7, 2011

[pima.nius] Pacific free trade negotiations criticised

11:26 AM |

via pac journos

 

Pacific free trade negotiations criticised

The Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles (right) says the government is standing by Pacer Plus. [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade]

PHOTO

The Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles (right) says the government is standing by Pacer Plus. [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade]

An independent panel has criticised the slow progress of Australia's free trade negotiations with the Pacific.

The Australian Government commissioned the panel - which includes former diplomats and representatives from non-governmental organisations - to review the effectiveness of its aid program.

The panel has found that the diversity in the Pacific region makes it difficult for the Pacer Plus trade deal to succeed.

Instead it has proposed that the government invite Pacific countries to join the Closer Economic Relationship between Australia and New Zealand.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles says the government is standing by Pacer Plus.

"There's no problem in saying that the end goal for all of this work is to have a much more integrated economy within the Pacific region, including New Zealand," he said.

"So that's what we're trying to do. This is the sensible way of going about it. But I'd just emphasise because of the developing nature of these economies, this is not a traditional trade agreement."

http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/stories/201107/3263172.htm?desktop

 

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