21 Feb 2005

Pacific Plan draft suggests the region should eventually become one economy

7:25 pm on 21 February 2005

The draft report on the Pacific Plan for closer regional cooperation suggests Pacific Island countries economies should eventually become fully integrated.

A taskforce has completed the draft on the Plan and it is being made available for member countries to seek domestic views on the proposals.

It sets out three categories for consideration - early practical benefits and medium and longer term advantages.

The task force is advocating full economic integration in the longer term - meaning sometime after 2010.

And the Pacific Forum's secretary general, Greg Urwin, outlines a number of changes that could bring immediate economic benefits, such as uniformity in the rules governing trade and customs.

"Those sorts of things of things that come up as trade agreements mature. There's a raft of things in the area of extra vocational training in the region, which we have identified as a considerable weakness in a number of trades and vocations."