5 Aug 2009

Niue's Premier says countries need to consider implications of a trade deal

6:45 am on 5 August 2009

The regional free trade agreement known as PACER Plus is unlikely to be launched at this week's Pacific Islands Forum.

The formal start of negotiations on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations were expected to be announced at this meeting,

The Pacific ACP countries - which includes all members of the forum except Australia and New Zealand, met yesterday and discussed trade issues.

The chair of the meeting, Niue's Premier Toke Talagi, says they agree to appoint a negotiator, but that some countries need time to consider the implications of a trade deal.

"I think what we have agreed is that there is still work to do before we can launch anything, and that further studies need to be conducted so that we get a good product to launch rather than just launching it for the sake of launching it."

Toke Talagi.

A recent report suggested that the New Zealand and Australian governments are bullying smaller countries to sign up to the Pacer Plus deal.