23 Oct 2009

Brisbane trade talks to boost Pacific economies

4:33 pm on 23 October 2009

The New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser, says sparking economic development in the island countries will be a key part of initial negotiations on the PACER Plus agreement on closer economic relations.

Talks are being held today and tomorrow in Brisbane with the trade ministers of all Forum countries bar Fiji, which has been excluded following its suspension from the Forum.

Mr Groser says these talks will scope the issues and work out timelines for what he says will be a lengthy period of negotiation.

And he says they also need to look at why these countries have difficulties exploiting their resources.

"What are the key things that global supply chains need? I mean there are some outstanding successful examples out there, some of them involve Oxfam's work with the New Zealand government. I've seen some very, very good projects using high quality oils from local products, for example going into some of the Body Shop products. So we know it can be done; it's just very frustrating there has been so little progress."

New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser.