GIVEN that world trade in 2013-2014 amounted to US$18 trillion, increasing the Pacific’s share by a mere 0.1 represents at least $18 billion worth of additional trade between Pacific Island Countries and other nations of the world, including Australia and New Zealand. That’s the assertion of Dr Edwini Kessie, Chief Trade Adviser to the Pacific Islands, as he puts up a strong argument in support of the completion of PACER Plus negotiations between Forum Island Countries with Australia and New Zealand.
“PACER Plus represents a unique opportunity for the PICs (Pacific Island Countries) and it is my hope that they will adopt the appropriate domestic policies to take advantage of the agreement to increase and diversify their exports and enhance their participation in international trade,” says Dr Kessie. “A consistent source of funding will enable the PICs to build and modernise their trade-related infrastructure which should contribute to a significant expansion of their economies and increased living standards for the Pacific people. Without increased trade with the outside world, including Australia and New Zealand, it would be difficult for the PICs to eradicate poverty and meet the post 2015 development agenda. The development aspirations of the PICs cannot be met by foreign aid alone.”
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