The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation is reporting that Fiji will stay out of trade of talks on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, also known as PACER Plus, despite efforts by the Pacific Islands Forum to re-engage them in trade negotiations.
Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama however says he will discuss the issue further with Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials when he returns from China.
“The reason why they’re saying Fiji should be now included in the PACER-Plus talks is because trade talks in the Pacific would be meaningless without Fiji…we had decided earlier on that we will refrain from any talks on PACER-Plus. We will see how things go, when I return I will be talking to our Foreign Affairs officials and see how things go. But we had decided to stay away from PACER Plus discussions."
On Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Ratu Inoke Kubuabola welcomed NZ Prime Minister John Key’s call to re-engage Fiji in PACER talks.
However Ratu Inoke says PACER is no longer a promising instrument for development as it has been corrupted by regional politics.
He says Fiji had been illegally excluded from talks, and its entry back to PACER would be on its own terms.
The Minister further clarified that PACER Plus was not an immediate priority for Fiji as it is now concentrating on building its trade and economic ties with Asia and with the countries of the Non-Allied Movement.- By Stanley Simpson; Radio Tarana