Continuing to boost trade and investment links in the Pacific region will be a major focus of discussions at this week’s Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers Meeting in Fiji.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said progressing the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus and highlighting Australia’s commitment to the region through the Pacific Step-up would be a key focal point of discussions.
“PACER plus is the first trade agreement in the Pacific that is open to all Pacific Island countries and would significantly strengthen economic integration and development across the region,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The ratification of PACER Plus would be a major boost for the region and enhance trade opportunities across the Pacific.
“I welcome the progress to date towards ratification of this trade deal and I will be reinforcing to all PACER Plus signatories the benefits of this Agreement to the region and will continue to advocate for its timely entry into force.
“I will also use these discussions to highlight increased opportunities for Pacific nations under the Morrison Government’s $2.0 billion Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP) to help support regional infrastructure development across the region.
“The AIFFP significantly increases Australia’s ability to support infrastructure development in the Pacific and I will be highlighting how it can be utilised by individual countries to help meet their future infrastructure needs.
“During my various bilateral meetings I will also be outlining our $4.5 million E-commerce Aid for Trade initiative to help countries in the Indo-Pacific maximise the benefits of digital trade.
“Our Government’s commitment to the Pacific is long-standing and enduring. This is another major opportunity to reinforce our ongoing commitment to help boost the economic development of individual countries in the Pacific, which also benefits Australia and helps contribute to an economically stronger and more secure region.”