21 Oct 2016

Fiji PM says PACER too one-sided and restrictive

6:15 am on 21 October 2016

Fiji's Prime Minister says the PACER plus trade agreement in its current form would have a negative impact on Fiji and other Pacific island nations.

Fiji's PM Frank Bainimarama in Auckland

Fiji's PM Frank Bainimarama in Auckland Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

Last month, Fiji's trade minister said Fiji was not prepared to sign the agreement and more negotiation was needed on two key clauses.

He said the agreement needed to have development at its heart, despite the Chief Trade Negotiator Dr Edwini Kessie saying trade was distinct from development.

Frank Bainimarama told a room of business guests in Auckland that the current text is still too one-sided.

"It would have an adverse impact on our development and the development of our Pacific Island neighbours. Fiji wants an enduring, predictable and sustainable trade agreement and in our view we still have not got one in our negotiations thus far."

"The current document is too one-sided, too restrictive, places too many obligations on us that we cannot afford to meet," he said.

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