PNG remains firm on PACER Plus withdrawal

By Online Editor
08:44 am GMT+12, 30/07/2013, Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea still remains firm on its decision to consider withdrawing from the Pacer plus Trade Agreement says Minister for Trade, Commerce and Industry Richard Maru

Maru said PNG should not enter into such trading blocs that will have no benefit to PNG.

PACER Plus is a proposed trade, development and economic cooperation agreement currently negotiated by the thirteen Pacific Forum Island Countries (FICs) with Australia and New Zealand to create a comprehensive trade and development agreement.

The Pacific’s Chief Trade Advisor Dr Edwini Kessie to 15 Pacific Island nations told Radio Australia that Papua New Guinea’s concerns about the proposed PACER plus trade agreement have not had any impact on negotiations, in fact quite the opposite, he says, and the negotiations are making remarkable progress.

Dr Kessie recently said the Pacer Plus Trade negotiations would not be affected by PNG doubts on considering withdrawing from the trade agreement.

Maru said PNG’s focus now is on developing and making the Melanesian Spearhead Group work.

He said unless he’s convinced that the trade bloc would benefit PNG, PNG was not joining PACER Plus.

Maru said apart from the gold and copper that PNG sells to Australia and New Zealand, PNG sells nothing to these two countries so it will be a one sided trading affair and PNG will lose substantial revenue.

Maru also reiterated the same message to other Pacific Island countries during the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) ministerial meet in Fiji in May.


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