#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: PACER Plus nations move without Fiji

Monday, October 26, 2009

PACER Plus nations move without Fiji

At the weekend, Trade Ministers from thirteen Pacific countries - along with Australia and New Zealand - formally began the process of negotiations for PACER Plus. The Brisbane meeting began the rather controversial regional framework that includes the prospect of a Pacific Islands Forum-wide free trade agreement.

Fiji was not invited, its military-led government says that makes the whole thing irrelevant and illegal.

However, that was not the view that was being expressed by Australia's Trade Minister, Simon Crean, at the news conference on Saturday at the close of the Trade Ministers meeting.

SIMON CREAN: So I'm very happy with the outcome of the meeting - the office of the Chief Trade Advisor to be established by the end of the year, the first of the technical discussions to commence in the first quarter of the year; and Ministers will get together again within the first half of next year to review the progress.

SEAN DORNEY: Simon Crean was at pains to point out that PACER Plus was not just a free trade agreement, that, in Australia's view, it was all about building the capacity of Pacific islands to compete economically.

CREAN: How do we improve the airlinks? How do we improve telecommunications? But in the case of agricultural produce how do we also build their capacity to understand what our quarantine requirements are so that they can meet them and their products not knocked back on the wharf. There's also the ability to look creatively at the movement of people within the region because Papua New Guinea's gas pipeline is going to require 12,000 people to build it. New Guinea itself knows they can only expect to provide, they say, round aobut three-and-a-half thousand of those. Where are the others going to come from? So there's a real opportunity, if we're creative about it, to not just say the people are available but develop the skills.

DORNEY: Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister, Misa Telefoni, said there were already examples of economic integration that could be built upon in the region.

MISA TELEFONI: A lot of people don't realise that all the Toyota cars made in Melbourne by the Toyota factory, the electrical harnessing comes from Samoa. And they employ close to 2,000 people. There's a lot of trade inter-linking in terms of that. And, of course, I think the great thing about PACER Plus is that the emphasis is on the Plus. The Plus means that it's more than just a trade agreement. It's looking at the overall development of the country. Now, for instance, in our case we have about 600 apple pickers in New Zealand. That's been very, very positive for our economy and they're not exploited, they get the minimum wage. So we have a lot of opportunities to trade with each other. I think the main thing we've got to look at for those small island states that still rely on import duties for revenue is to try to find another way of earning government revenue so that they don't rely on import duties.

DORNEY: The Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers endorsed the establishment of the office of a Chief Trade Advisor to help the island countries in their negotiations with Australia and New Zealand even though much of the funding for that office, which will eventually be based in Vanuatu, will come from Australia and New Zealand.

CREAN: The interview process has been concluded, a recommendation's made, the offer now needs to be made to that person but the Office of the Chief Trade Advisor is part of that capacity building exercise. Also what we agreed on was the framework of the work program going forward - the commitment to begin the process, the long process of negotiation. The process going forward will not be easy and it won't be quick but there is a confidence and a preparedness to engage in this important task.

DORNEY: That confidence is, of course, not shared by the administration in Fiji which has been frozen out of participating.

CREAN: The participation of Fiji in this is totally in Fiji's hands. If they're prepared to accept the requirement that all Pacific islands leaders made of them to chart the path to the return to democracy then they can come back in. Fiji by inaction on that front has excluded themselves. We understand the importance of keeping Fiji informed about progress in these negotiations and we also discussed at this meeting today how that will be discharged. But the quesiton of Fiji's involvement which would would welcome is entirely in their hands.

DORNEY: Samoa's Deputy Prime Minister is all for PACER Plus.

TELEFONI: There have been people attacking PLACER Plus and some even going so far as to say that New Zealand and Australia are trying to exploit us in the islands. Well, you know, I've always found that to be a little bit patronising because, you know, I don't think we can be bullied. We're looking at this in a very realistic way and I think there are benefits, very real benefits for us -RADIO AUSTRALIA

17 comments:

mark manning said...

Boo hoo Frank !

Anonymous said...

MM, you really are pathetic. So this is the sum total of your contribution to this particular discussion?

There you are, your face covered with egg after NZ makes a fool of your insistence that the Watis to "go to India", and the best you can summon up is "boo hoo".

Well as Yogi Bear used to famously say; "boo boo to you too", along with your bully boy buddies in Canberra.

Without Fiji, PACER Plus is nothing. The Aussies and Kiwis can suck up to as many Polynesian wannabes and never-will-bes as they like. But in siding with the regional nobodies, they're trashing their own neighbourhood in the process.

All this does is drive Frank further into the arms of China, Malaysia and his newest pal, former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra.

He's his entre not just to some big money in Asia but the vast investment potential from Thaksin's new home in Dubai.

Get ready for some big announcements on that front. And get used to Frank being around long after perennial loser Simon Crean is politically dead and buried.

As for you Mark, as someone else has already said; Get a job and get a life.

Anonymous said...

3 letter sentence VB somehow can't fathom in his quest for leadership?

Jobs Jobs Jobs.

Anonymous said...

JUST ADMIT IT FRANKEEEE YOU'RE AN ILLEGAL GOVMNT....AS ONCE SAID BY THE EU,TO CHAUDRY AND KAIYUM...MATAMU.

The Max said...

Samoa will never live to regret any day because they have always been living on New Zealand's economy even after their independence. In that regard, Misa Telefoni is very narrow-minded and not working on the interest of all other Pacific Island countries. He is only thinking about himself.

In years to come, when scholars study what happened to the Pacific, Misa Telefoni will be identified as the selfish leader that the Pacific has ever had.

aage piche said...

Benefits. Very real benefits. These corrupt and self- serving Pacific leaders are guided only by money.In that sense Fiji is the only country displaying true sovereignty by standing up to the toadies.

The Max said...

@ Anonymous

Put it this way. Should Frank become successful in forging better trade relations with the Asian giants that lead to the creation of more jobs at home, Fiji may not suffer much from the loss of jobs expected in other Pacific island countries as a result of the overwhelming favour Australia and New Zealand will get out of PACER Plus. Bear in mind, Fiji will not be legally bounded by any agreement that comes out of this trade agreement while it is suspended from the Forum. The agreement is NULL and VOID as far as Fiji is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:14!

You sound like Budhau!

"All this does is drive Frank further into the arms of China, Malaysia and his newest pal, former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra."

China - no additional soft loans to Fiji even being spoken about. Just the housing ones, which aren't having any flow-on effects in the economy, and the hotel ones, which are already looking like a flop that we'll still have to pay back, regardless. So what "arms" are you talking about here?

Malaysia - Malaysian ExIm Bank loan declined, so what "arms" is Fiji being driven into there?

Thaksin - is he a nation? Or is he a businessman with business advisors who will only spend big bucks if he is assured of making big bucks? How can they be assured of that with Fiji's own economy tanking, and its participation in the future economic integration of the wider region suspended? This is very cheap talk that will not be dispelled by any "announcements". "Show me the money!" first, then we'll see!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 12:14!

You sound like Budhau!

"All this does is drive Frank further into the arms of China, Malaysia and his newest pal, former Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra."

China - no additional soft loans to Fiji even being spoken about. Just the housing ones, which aren't having any flow-on effects in the economy, and the hotel ones, which are already looking like a flop that we'll still have to pay back, regardless. So what "arms" are you talking about here?

Malaysia - Malaysian ExIm Bank loan declined, so what "arms" is Fiji being driven into there?

Thaksin - is he a nation? Or is he a businessman with business advisors who will only spend big bucks if he is assured of making big bucks? How can they be assured of that with Fiji's own economy tanking, and its participation in the future economic integration of the wider region suspended? This is very cheap talk that will not be dispelled by any "announcements". "Show me the money!" first, then we'll see!

Anonymous said...

@ Max.
Drawing a long bow claiming Samoa's
deputy PM will be identified as the Pacifics most selfish leader - VB could give him years start an still beat him. As for putting his own country first? Honestly - what do you expect - what more can you ask - from a deputy PM?

mark manning said...

i don't believe that i ever insisted that Anjala go to India for treatment for her son
I simply pointed out that they should consider the countries which frank Bainimarma implied were supportive of the regime.
Frnk himself has bagged austrlia and New Zealand and stated that he doesn't need them, yet when money and funds are needed or their is disagreement over the travel sanctions, Frank and co. are the 1st. to cry like little children.
As for anjala, everyone knows that she wants for her child, that which is denied many in fiji.
Now that just doesn't seem right, buut then nor is anything else Frank and Co. are implementing, illegaly I might add !

Anonymous said...

Boo Hoo, voreqe, Boo Hoo Fiji, Boo Hoo to all boo hoo!!!

Anonymous said...

Frankie, Frankie, Frankie-you shall reap what you sow!

Anonymous said...

Mark Manning, this is what you wrote on October 19th.


"Stop whining woman, you sow what you reap !
Take your child to a country that is sympathetic to the Regime.
How about China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, North Korea or any other downtrodden dictatorial Regime ?
I'm a Nurse, but i have absolutely no sympathy for you, when you are supporting a Regime that has inflicted so much suffering on your fellow citizens, some of whom have even been murdered."

So you didn't just say Wati should go to India - something you now deny - but a whole lot of other places other than NZ.

As my kids would say: "liar, liar pants on fire!".

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12.27am

So you know what's happening do you?

Only because you've bought the BS from those idiots at the ANU and the Pacific Desk at Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs.

They keep telling everyone just what you're saying here. But guess what? The American State Department isn't buying it and neither should you.

The Chinese not interested in Fiji? Yeah, sure. Keep believing that and you'll soon believe in the Tooth Fairy.

And like the foolish Aussies and Kiwis, you'll wake up one morning to find another dictatorship, but one with global ambitions, with a big camp set in your backyard.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 8:36

Ho-hum. Just more cheap talk. Wake me when you've actually got some runs on the board.

And try to remember the difference between Frank's interests, and Fiji's, when you tout these alleged diplomatic "coups".

By the way - if the Russkies or the Chinese ever put a military base in Fiji, I will eat my hat.

Nations don't put bases all over the place for no reason. First of all they have to have interests in the areas they need to protect.

Furthermore, China does not even have a proper "blue water" navy to justify naval bases far from home. So why build a base?

I am not sure if either if these nations have any interest in mining or harvesting stupidity, which seems to be Fiji's main item of Government production these days. So what other interest would they have here WHICH WOULD JUSTIFY SUCH A LARGE OUTLAY OF $?

And that is my second point? Nations need to have sufficient funds to keep overseas naval bases in place. So again, why would either of those two nations want to waste good money on a base in a backwater like Fiji?

You guys are getting really desperate now!

Anonymous said...

Oi, hat eater at 8.36!

Who said anything about the Ruskies? An over excited mind if I ever saw one.

Perhaps you missed what the head of the Chinese navy recently told the head of the US Pacific fleet. "You take care of the seas east of Hawaii and we'll take care of the seas to the west".

That's us, you doce. The Americans were astonished and so should you be.

So the Chinese aren't interested and aren't capable of global naval projection? Or in ever establishing a base in Fiji? We'll see.

But to describe Fiji as a "backwater" is plain stupid. It's the crossroads of the South Pacific. Always has been, always will be. And is now a special friend of China thanks to the myopia of our traditional allies, the Aussies and Kiwis.

What gets me about you self styled pro-democracy types is your apparent sense of loathing for your own country. "Backwater" my arse.

Who's really desperate here?