PACER Plus is a landmark trade and development agreement that will lower barriers and provide greater certainty for New Zealand businesses, while raising living standards, creating jobs and increasing exports in Pacific Island countries.
- Who is involved in PACER Plus
- Why it's a priority for New Zealand
- What are the potential benefits
- National Interest Analysis
- How to get involved
PACER Plus builds on existing trade agreements: the South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement (SPARTECA) (1980) and the original PACER Agreement (2001).
Ten countries signed the agreement in Tonga on 14 June 2017: Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Tuvalu.
The Federated Sates of Micronesia, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands and Vanuatu are still completing their domestic approval processes.
Pacific Island countries are our nearest neighbours and, with almost 296,000 Pacific peoples living in New Zealand, we share strong personal ties. New Zealand has a clear interest in a prosperous and sustainable region and our main objective for PACER Plus is to encourage economic development in Pacific countries.
Opportunities for economic development in Pacific Island countries are limited because of their small size and the difficulty achieving the economies of scale needed to compete in international markets. PACER Plus should help create jobs and wealth in the Pacific by making it easier for these countries to trade.
The intended benefits of PACER Plus are:
- a more predictable trading environment
- more consistent and transparent rules throughout the region on sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, and customs procedures
- more liberal and product-specific rules of origin
- increased investment in the region, in particular by New Zealand and Australian investors into Pacific Island countries
- greater certainty around tariffs for exporters
- more opportunities for trade-related development assistance for Pacific Island countries
- a more mobile labour force in the region.
The National Interest Analysis assesses PACER Plus from the perspective of its impact on New Zealand and New Zealanders.
National Interest Analysis [PDF, 1.4 MB]
The following factsheets summarise the contents of the agreement.
Overview: Purpose and benefits [PDF, 261 KB]
Development and economic cooperation [PDF, 644 KB]
Labour mobility [PDF, 346 KB]
Legal and Institutional Chapters [PDF, 263 KB]
Pasifika New Zealand [PDF, 407 KB]
Te Moana-nui-ā-Kiwa and Māori development [PDF, 333 KB]
Trade in goods, Rules of Origin and customs [PDF, 737 KB]
Services, investment and visa access for business people [PDF, 440 KB]
Negotiations started: August 2009
Status: Negotiations concluded on 20 April 2017. Following signature, the Agreement will enter into force 60 days after eight negotiating parties have notified the Depositary that they have completed their internal requirements.
There are three ways you can get involved with the PACER Plus Agreement.
Submissions to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee
The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee at Parliament received public submissions on 14 July 2017. Public hearings were convened at the end of last month with the recent release of their final select committee report.
For access to copies of submissions received, the opening statement by Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief Negotiator, Frequently Asked Questions and final report is available on their website. (external link)
Public meetings on trade negotiations were held in June/July which included updates on PACER Plus.
To find out more on our public and business events about trade, will be list here public meetings.
We are happy to arrange meetings with stakeholders and Iwi/Māori organisations to discuss how PACER Plus may affect you, your business or your communities.
Submissions or requests for information can be sent to:
Making contact with us will enable us to provide you with further information and updates on PACER Plus.