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Pacific Islands to gain trade office

Pacific Islands to gain trade office article image
Pacific trade leaders have confirmed they will establish a trade office in Vanuatu as part of the new PACER Plus economic agreement after meeting at the weekend. Minister for Trade Simon Crean and his counterparts from the Pacific region met in Brisbane to discuss Pacific economic integration and trade agreement and "build economic resilience in the Pacific region," said Crean. "I am convinced that the negotiation of this new agreement - underpinned by trade capacity building and development assistance - will help create jobs, enhance private sector growth, raise standards of living and boost the long-term economic prospects of Forum Island countries." Vanuatu will host the office of the chief trade adviser in Port Vila, an arrangement designed to improve price negotiations among Pacific island nations. The office will largely run on funds given by Australia and New Zealand, and is expected to open by the end of 2009. The talks included representatives from the Cook Islands, Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Fiji has been excluded from the talks until its military regime returns the country to democracy.

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