By Ambassador Kaliopate Tavola
The Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA), having acquired ratification by signatory Pacific Island Countries (PICs), came into force in 2003. However, some 18 years later, the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is only being implemented by half (seven PICs) of its membership. Clearly, the FTA’s impact on the desired regional economic integration can only be perceived as rudimentary, if any at all. Moreover, its raison d´ȇtre, as an entry point to the eventual formation of an economic union, envisaged by the foundational regional leaders way back in 1971, is really nothing . . .