The Pacific's chief trade advisor, Dr Edwini Kessie, says significant progress was made in the push for trade-in-services during last Friday's meeting of Pacific trade ministers in Samoa.
The proposed PACER Plus deal which the organiser, the Pacific Islands Forum, says is a significant long term opportunity to grow island economies, was the focus of the meeting.
Dr Kessie, who provides support for the island countries in their negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, says the notable outcome of the meeting was the decision to start negotiations on trade in services and investment.
"And these two sectors are sectors of great importance to the Forum Island countries. A lot of Forum Island countries, given the size of their economies and the structure of their economies, they believe they can get more benefit from an agreement on trade in services and investment."
The Pacific's chief trade advisor, Dr Edwini Kessie.