Pacific businesses keen for PACER Plus to come into effect

The PACER Plus free trade agreement signed by 11 Pacific nations has galvanised the entrepreneurial Pacific people in New Zealand and in the region.

Growing the export potential for Pacific businesses was a key issue for the Private Sector Dialogue at last week's leaders forum in Apia.

Pacific Trade and Invest CEO Michael Greenslade says their path to market programmes has seen New Zealand supermarkets stocked with Pacific virgin coconut oil, organic vanilla, coffee and cocoa. 

"This year we would've had marketing initiatives with over 50 companies here in New Zealand and programmes delivered in the Pacific around export-readiness and capabilities to over 300 companies."

President of New Zealand's Tonga Business Council, Sione Taufa, says PACER Plus has sparked a surge of business partnerships between people in Tonga and their families living abroad. 

He says Tongan businesses are anticipating the deal coming into effect.

"Two years till the effective date of PACER Plus and take advantage of the opportunities that they have on offer."


Photo: PRN. Caption: New Zealand's PACER Plus Chief Negotiator Tessa Te Mata and New Zealand's Tonga Business Council President Sione Taufa.