Laban to attend PI Forum Trade discussions
Hon Luamanuvao Winnie Laban
Minister of Pacific Island Affairs
Associate Minister of Trade
21 July 2008 Media Statement
Laban to attend Pacific Islands Forum Trade discussions
Forum Trade Ministers will discuss trade and economic integration under the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) when they meet in Rarotonga on 22 July.
Pacific Island Affairs Minister and Associate Trade Minister Luamanuvao Winnie Laban will represent New Zealand at the meeting.
"It’s timely to be talking about trade and economic integration in the Pacific, with rising food and fuel prices showing that globalisation affects even the smallest and most isolated of our Pacific neighbours.
"This meeting is an opportunity for Forum members to advance their vision for moving towards a single economic market in the Pacific," said Laban
PACER provides a framework for enhancing the trade and economic relationship between Australia and New Zealand and the Pacific Island countries.
"The goal is to make it easier for island countries to move towards more competitive, outward looking economies, able to generate the job opportunities that their people need. The challenge is to work out a way to encourage and support them towards that goal.
"A comprehensive agreement much broader than simply trade in goods is needed so we can be aware of the capacity constraints facing our Forum partners, and approach our discussions in a Pacific way. It is vital that members work together if we are to succeed at this.
"This is an opportunity to map out sensible adjustments which will help island countries achieve the economic and employment growth they need.
"During the meeting ministers will need to discuss trade facilitation, capacity building, intellectual property, and the WTO. The key item on the agenda is to get engagement on a way ahead under PACER as all countries in the region stand to benefit from a more vibrant and cooperative regional economy," said Laban.