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Source: New Zealand Government

Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it.

Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement.

“The agreement represents a deepening of New Zealand’s relationship with the Pacific and reflects our enduring commitment to the region.

“It recognises the unique challenges that some of our Pacific partners face in international trade caused by their relative size, distance from markets and high cost structures.”

Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and New Zealand have now ratified.

The remaining signatories that are yet to ratify are Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

“PACER Plus will make trade easier for signatories to the agreement, which will grow jobs, boost sustainable economic growth and contribute to a safer and more prosperous Pacific,” David Parker said.

“It will also provide greater certainty for New Zealand businesses trading with the Pacific.

“The fact that four of our Pacific partners completed their ratification in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the value they also see in this agreement.

“PACER Plus is a further demonstration of our region’s commitment to open, rules-based trade that is crucial to help the region and the world recover from the economic impact of the pandemic,” David Parker said.

A key part of the agreement is a commitment to help better position Pacific countries to engage in international trade.

“The Development and Economic Cooperation package built into the agreement is designed to build the necessary resources and capability,” David Parker said.

New Zealand commits to ensuring that 20 per cent of Overseas Development Aid (ODA) through the New Zealand Aid programme is allocated to Aid for Trade activities. New trade-related development opportunities will be developed in partnership with Pacific countries.

MIL OSI