The announcement made by Australia and New Zealand of the sum of $Aus7.7 million (Vt634 million) Readiness Package, including the $Aus25.5 million (Vt2.1 billion) for the implementation of the PACER Plus agreement and the 20% of their Official Development Assistance (ODA) toward the Aid for Trade, is a milestone that confirms the agreement is beyond just a trade agreement, which includes its development components, the Vanuatu Minister of Climate Change and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ham Lini, says.
Lini made the comment while addressing the Seventh Non-State Actors (NSA) Dialogue Workshop at the Warwick Le Lagon Resort in Port Vila Wednesday on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus. He said the Development and Economic Cooperation Chapter and its associated Implementing Arrangement and Work Program now provide a framework for the provision of not only implementation assistance, but also broader trade and investment-related assistance by Australia and New Zealand to Vanuatu and other Forum Island Countries.
“The Government of Vanuatu is looking forward to working closely with the private sector to implement the agreement as soon as it enters into force.”
The one-day Seventh NSA Dialogue Workshop was attended by representatives of governments of South Pacific Forum Island Countries.
It was co-chaired by Mr Keutekarakia Mataroa, who is the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (PIANGO) Board Member and the Executive Committee of Cook Islands Civil Society Organization Inc. and Ms. Victorina Kioa, the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organization (PIPSO) representative and the Acting CEO of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce & Industries .