Tuesday, October 19, 2010
HONIARA, Solomon Islands - The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat has refused to comment on whether Fiji will be included in talks over a Pacific free trade area that would include Australia and New Zealand.
The PIFS Director of Economic Governance, Chakriya Bowman, said that any involvement of Fiji in free trade talks would be a matter for Forum officials and governments to decide.
"I don't think it's appropriate for us to discuss that," she told a press conference in Honiara, on the eve of the first Non-State Actor Dialogue over PACER-Plus.
This as Forum Secretariat facilitates the second meeting of PACER Plus trade officials which are set to open on Tuesday in Honiara and which is funded by the Australian and New Zealand governments.
The first meeting of senior Forum trade officials was held on April 14 to 15 this year, which considered common priority issues that a Special Forum Trade Ministers Meeting had agreed to in October last year.
No comment could be obtained from the Forum Secretariat of the impact on the regional free trade talks of the absence of Fiji.