The Institute for International Trade (IIT) at the University of Adelaide, is consulting government, business and community stakeholders across the Pacific to identify trade-related development priorities of members from the new free trade agreement – the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus).
We encourage public and private sector stakeholders to attend consultations for Rapid Needs Assessments to identify the main capacity gaps and challenges they experience when engaging in international trade and attracting foreign investment.
The assessments will guide the PACER Plus work program and help Pacific members of PACER Plus make the most of the AU$25.5 million funding committed by Australia and New Zealand.
Consultations will help prioritise the key trade-related challenges faced by PACER Plus members, and identify projects that will address these challenges and strengthen their trade capability and support the extensive trade-related development work already underway.
IIT has commenced consultations in Samoa and consultations will occur in other PACER Plus member countries throughout April and May, including Tonga, Solomon Islands, Niue, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Nauru.
The IIT team will also consult relevant regional organisations to ensure PACER Plus complements current trade-related development programs in the region.
“The rapid needs assessments are an important tool that will support the successful implementation of the Agreement across the region,” IIT Team Leader Keith Wilson said.
“We will be consulting across government, and with business and community stakeholders, to identify the key gaps in trade capacity to develop a prioritised list of the region’s trade-related needs.”
Alongside the AU$25.5 million funding committed to support Pacific nations to implement the Agreement, Australia and New Zealand governments have made long-term commitments to allocate significant portions of their official development assistance towards aid for trade programmes, further boosting trade capacity and certainty throughout the region.
“The rapid needs assessments will increase the effectiveness of this funding by ensuring it goes to the areas identified by the Pacific countries with the most urgent need.”
“IIT will be working closely with PACER Plus Officials over the course of these assessments and is looking forward to contributing to an agreement that will create long-term benefits for the Pacific region,” Mr Wilson said.