24 Oct 2016

NZ PM keen to keep Fiji in PACER talks

9:25 am on 24 October 2016

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key says he is very keen to keep Fiji in the PACER plus trade agreement talks, after his Fiji counterpart Frank Bainimarama said it was still too one-sided.

The Fiji Prime Minister said the text was restrictive and would burden the Pacific island nations, despite the aim of the trade deal to preference Pacific countries.

Fiji has stated it won't sign until there are better terms on the topics of infant industries, the 'most favoured nation' clause and labour mobility.

Mr Key said he spoke to Mr Bainimarama about his concerns and would do his best to accommodate the demands.

He said he agrees with Fiji's concern that there should be greater emphasis on development.

"We'd prefer to progress PACER Plus with Fiji if we can, if we can't then it won't necessarily stop us but we'd prefer to have them in but it's like anything, it's like a treaty settlement, a free trade agreement, you have to have both sides reaching an agreement and feeling as if they're getting a fair deal."

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key chat at Government House

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key chat at Government House Photo: Alex Perrottet / RNZ

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