NZ told PACER Plus deal could be destructive for the Pacific

An analyst says New Zealand's planned trade deal with the Pacific Island nations could be extremely damaging to their economies.

New Zealand with Australia has been strongly promoting the PACER Plus trade over the past 10 years and later last year it got the required backing, though it is still to be ratified.

But Dr Cleo Paskal of the global think tank Chatham House said there was very little in PACER Plue for the island nations.

She said Australia and New Zealand had bullied Pacific countries into a deal that offers very little and include no development for them.

“If you push through this deal you will end up not creating an integrated economic environment that ultimately revolves around Australia and New Zealand, you will end up with a fragmented Pacific economic area, which creates even more dislocation internally and potentially more inequalities and more abilities for outside actors to come in.”

Dr Cleo Paskal said the way PACER Plus has been approached shows a disconnect between the economic engagement in the Pacific and the political and strategic engagement