Trade Minister Todd McClay has welcomed Vanuatu to the landmark Pacific trade and development agreement PACER Plus and says this is another important step in developing the economies of our Pacific Island neighbours.
“Vanuatu wasn’t ready to sign in June when we concluded the agreement, however, we've been working closely with them and I am pleased the Cabinet of Vanuatu has agreed to sign PACER Plus today,” Mr McClay says.
“This brings the number of countries in PACER Plus to 11 and I encourage others, including Fiji and Papua New Guinea, to take another look at the agreement and join.”
PACER Plus was concluded after eight years of negotiations.
Mr McClay says the agreement will help raise the standards of living, create employment opportunities and increase the export capacity of our close friends in the Pacific.
"PACER Plus strikes a fair balance between lowering tariffs and offering greater certainty for New Zealand businesses and investors, while ensuring Pacific Island countries benefit from sustainable trade and development,” Mr McClay says.
“Vanuatu will now be able to access assistance from the PACER Plus Readiness Package - jointly funded by New Zealand and Australia.”
Note: PACER Plus signatories include: Australia, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu