7 Dec 2015

NGO calls for independent review of PACER-Plus

9:01 am on 7 December 2015

Civil society and non-government organisations in the region are renewing calls for an independent impact assessment of PACER-Plus.

The regional free trade agreement driven by Australia and New Zealand is supposed to bring great economic benefits to the Pacific.

But a campaigner for the Pacific Network on Globalisation says the agreement is designed to benefit big businesses and will not support a dynamic Pacific economy.

Adam Wolfenden is calling for the release of all negotiation texts and a halt to negotiations.

"We want dynamic economic development in the Pacific but we want that to be Pacific focused and centered. Staking an economic future on a framework like PACER-Plus leads us away from that. And we need to be consulted and we need to be brought in to be allowed to have this discussion and a decision about what we want for the Pacific's economic future."

The next round of PACER Plus negotiations is being held in Fiji this week.

Pacific Island Forum leaders have called for the agreement to be wrapped up by the mid-2016.

Container ship at Auckland port

Photo: PHOTO NZ