Farmers, businesses and investors across Australia and the Pacific will have their trade opportunities boosted from today with the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) coming into force.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said PACER Plus was a major step in strengthening Australia’s relationship with our Pacific partners and would play a valuable role in supporting recovery in the region from COVID-19.
“This trade deal ensures greater market access and lower tariffs across a range of products that will benefit communities, farmers, fishers, businesses and investors in our region,” Minister Birmingham said.
“We’re committed to working together to ensure businesses in the Pacific and across Australia take advantage of the new trade and investment opportunities PACER Plus will bring.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne said the entry into force of the Agreement offered important opportunities at a time when the region was focussed on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ll continue to work closely with our Pacific family to bring the Agreement to life. The next phase of PACER Plus represents another opportunity to deliver our shared vision for our Blue Pacific,” said Minister Payne.
Australia will support our Pacific partners to implement the trade agreement, maximising opportunities for their local businesses to access export markets.
Funding under PACER Plus will allow more countries access to an existing program focussed on improving market access to Australia for specific horticultural and agricultural products. By assisting Pacific countries to meet the biosecurity and quality requirements, countries will be able to maintain and develop their agricultural export markets – an important opportunity to support livelihoods through trade.
Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and New Zealand are Parties to the Agreement. The remaining signatories that are yet to ratify are Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Signatories will become Parties to the Agreement 60 days after they have ratified the Agreement.