PACER Plus releases 4-year strategic plan
The PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) has released its inaugural Strategic Plan 2022-2025 which provides the public with the PPIU’s overarching mission and activities.
The Strategic Plan was endorsed by the PACER Plus Joint Committee which consists of representatives of the PACER Plus parties.
It was developed on the substantial work undertaken by PACER Plus parties in accordance with PPIU’s foundation documents.
Kiribati, which chaired the Joint Committee meeting held virtually on Wednesday 22 June, encouraged the parties to take a collective response in identifying opportunities that will bring significant and sustainable benefits as the region grapples with the ongoing impact of climate change, non-communicable diseases, and COVID-19.
“PACER Plus provides us with a unique opportunity and forum to respond collectively. It is also an opportunity to do things differently and to leverage our collective knowledge and expertise to achieve our shared vision of improving the livelihood and welfare of our people,” said Kiribati’s Minister of Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Bootii Nauan,
Head of the PPIU, Roy Lagolago, supported Nauan’s sentiments adding that PPIU will implement the Development and Economic Cooperation Work Programme to achieve the Agreement’s vision.
“By delivering the implementation activities as mutually prioritised and determined by the parties, the PPIU will remain directed and clear in our mission and intent to ensure that everyone will benefit from the PACER Plus Agreement,” said Lagolago.
Solomon Islands Trade Commissioner Barrett Salato said: “To achieve meaningful benefits from PACER Plus Agreement would require full and effective implementation of the Development and Economic Work Programme. The Strategic Plan 2022-2025 sets the pathway for the full realization of those benefits.”
PACER Plus is a regional development-centered trade and investment agreement aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Agreement is designed to support Pacific Island countries to stimulate economic growth by becoming more active partners in, and benefit from, regional and global trade.
Nine countries are currently parties to the Agreement: Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
This was Tuvalu’s first Joint Committee meeting since ratifying the PACER Plus Agreement in January 2022.
“Through PACER Plus, Tuvalu foresees accessing new labour markets in other countries, expanding of our labour seasonal worker scheme, local product mapping, value adding and potential exporting, including necessary storage facilities, equipment and labs for processing and testing of local product prior exportation,” said, Assistant Secretary to Tuvalu’s Ministry of Fisheries and Trade, Loloma Homasi.
Vanuatu’s parliament recently voted in favour for the ratification of the Bill for the PACER Plus Agreement which will make Vanuatu the 10th country to endorse PACER Plus.
Vanuatu’s Department of External Trade director, Joe Pakoa Lui, was present at the PACER Plus Joint Committee meeting.
“We’re excited to join the PACER Plus family and to collaborate with the PPIU and the parties to implement activities in Vanuatu that would benefit our people and our communities,” he said.
“PACER Plus marks an exciting new era for Pacific cooperation in trade and investment, which Vanuatu is looking forward to participate in.”