Forum Trade Ministers Meet

The Forum Trade Ministers met in Vava’u, Kingdom of Tonga on 18-19 May 2011.

  • Of the 14 Forum Island Countries, four – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tonga – are  World trade Organisation (WTO) Members and two Observers – Samoa and Vanuatu – are in the process of acceding to the WTO.
  • FICs who are not WTO members are just as affected by WTO’s far-reaching rules and negotiations.
  • “Provision of technical advice to Forum Island Countries (FIC)/WTO Members and Observers remains the highest priority of the office,” said the Forum’s Permanent Representative to the Geneva Office, Mrs Aivu Tauvasa.
  • Most of the region’s trading partners are Members of WTO, and therefore bound by WTO rules. This means that the outcomes of WTO negotiations have implications for all FICs, including those that are not presently members of the WTO.
  • Negotiations such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU), PACER Plus with Australia and New Zealand, and the broadening of PICTA must necessarily result in WTO-compatible agreements. Meaningful advocacy of FIC interests can, therefore, only take place from within the WTO system.



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News category: Asia Pacific.

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