1 May 2017

Aid from NZ/Aust key to success of PACER Plus - Kessie

11:05 am on 1 May 2017

New Zealand and Australia meeting their commitments to help island countries build their export capacity is a critical aspect of the about to be completed PACER Plus trade deal.

Chief Trade Advisor, Edwini Kessie.

Chief Trade Advisor, Edwini Kessie. Photo: rnzi / alex perrottet

That is the view of the outgoing chief trade advisor for the Pacific, Edwini Kessie.

He helped the island countries negotiate the deal and said it should bring signficant benefits.

But Dr Kessie said a key is that New Zealand and Australia meet their commitments to allocate up to 20 per cent of their Pacific aid budgets to helping the island nations develop such things as the capacity to meet international bio-security requirements.

He said this would amount to $US300 million dollars annually being allocated.

"So hopefully part of this money can be used to assist the Pacific Island countries to meet the applicable standards in Australia or New Zealand because obviously if we do not see an increase in the trade of the Pacific then PACER Plus would not achieve its basic objective of helping or trying to increase the participation of the Pacific Island countries in international trade," Dr Kessie said.

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