December 2012 update on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations
Consistent with the guidance provided by Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers in May 2012, two inter-sessional meetings have been held in Port Vila to increase engagement and make rapid progress on the agreed priority issues for the PACER Plus negotiations. The first inter-sessional meeting was held from 9 to 13 July 2012 and the second inter-sessional meeting was held from 1 to 4 October.
A Product Specific Rules workshop associated with the PACER Plus negotiations was held in Apia on 28 November. The fifth PACER Plus officials' meeting was held in Apia on 29 and 30 November 2012.
At the fifth meeting, officials endorsed the outcomes from the July and October inter-sessional meetings, and carried out further negotiations on agreed priority issues. Consistent with the guidance provided by Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers in May 2012, there were also discussions at the fifth PACER Plus officials' meeting on a roadmap to guide PACER Plus negotiations in relation into new areas not covered by the existing priority negotiating issues.
The next steps on PACER Plus will include an inter-sessional meeting held in Port Vila in April 2013 (exact dates to be confirmed later). At this inter-sessional meeting there are expected to be discussions on the additional issues related to trade in goods, product specific rules of origin, development cooperation, and labour mobility, as well as initial discussions on trade in services and investment.