22 Aug 2007

Niue joins list of PICTA countries

7:12 pm on 22 August 2007

Niue's Government says the island is now ready for a free trading environment in the Pacific after fulfilling requirements under the Pacific Islands Countries Trade Agreement, or PICTA.

PICTA is aimed at establishing a region-wide free trade market as part of the economic development of Pacific Island countries.

Niue's move means four countries have now completed the requirements and are ready to trade,.

It will be some time before Niue can enjoy the benefits of the scheme as it currently exports little, but its trade minister, Bill Vakaafi Motufoou, expects all the island countries will eventually be full members of the agreement.

"We know it is a long process and these countries will come on line later on as WTO rules start having an impact on trade."

The other three countries which are now fully operational members of PICTA are the Cook Islands, Fiji and Samoa.