A regional trade expert says the opening up of markets in preparation for joining the World Trade Organisation presents a risk to Pacific Island nations.
Tonga has just signed a deal with New Zealand which will result in its government losing about a tenth of its income from tariff cuts.
A trade policy adviser at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mere Falemaka, says countries such as Tonga have decided to join the WTO to participate in the world trading system.
But she says the need to reach agreements to open-up markets to key tradepartners does present a challenge to island nations:
"The fact that Tonga has been negotiating over the last six years now, seven, is testimony to the difficult decisions they've had to consider in these bilateral negotiations. So the approach is really to understand the implications of the demands that are coming from the bilateral partners before they can make the decision."
A trade policy adviser at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Mere Falemaka.
Samoa and Vanuatu are also working towards accession to the WTO.
Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands are already members