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Ratification of Pacific trade deal a step closer

Ratification of Pacific trade deal a step closer

A unique trade and development deal, that will lower barriers while raising living standards, creating jobs and increasing exports by Pacific Island countries, has taken a step closer.

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed the third reading of the Tariff (PACER Plus) Amendment Bill.

“The agreement strikes a balance between delivering lower barriers and greater certainty for New Zealand businesses, while helping the Pacific Island countries to open their economies to trade at a sustainable pace,” David Parker said.

The Bill is a key step towards New Zealand ratifying PACER Plus in coming months.

“Pacific Island countries are our nearest neighbours and, with almost 296,000 Pacific peoples living in New Zealand, we share strong personal ties,” David Parker said.

Other Pacific nations are welcome to join.

“New Zealand, together with the 10 other signatories to PACER Plus, are all focused on ratifying as soon as possible to being this agreement into force.

“The majority of Pacific countries have decided PACER Plus supports their national interests. While New Zealand would like to see all Pacific Island Forum Members join, that is a decision for each country to make,” David Parker said.

“New Zealand has a clear interest in a prosperous and sustainable region and our main objective for PACER Plus is to encourage economic development in Pacific countries.

“The agreement will benefit our Pacific neighbours and help them seek the same kind of outcomes New Zealand is pursuing through the ‘Trade for All’ agenda. We want the benefits of trade to be felt right through communities.”

Signatories are being supported with a range of tools and financial assistance as they work towards ratification.

Work will start soon on a one-stop online portal providing easy access to information about exporting goods and services, investment requirements and improved rules of origin.

PACER Plus comes into force 60 days after at least eight of the eleven signatories have ratified. The other signatories are: Australia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

More information about PACER Plus (short for Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus), including the full text, is at https://www.mfat.govt.nz/PACER Plus.

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