BY ALEX DADAMU
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare in his nationwide address last week Friday has reiterated Solomon Islands Ratification Pacer plus trade agreement, stating that the government believes Pacer plus will provide tangible benefits to the Solomon Islands and other Pacific Island countries.
Prime Minister Sogavare said some of the major benefits that the pacer plus Trade Agreement would provide for the Solomon Islands are market access, predictable regimes for trading, and access to support for trade and policy needs.
“Pacer plus is a comprehensive free trade agreement between 14 members of the Pacific Island Forum and Australia and New Zealand.
“This agreement aims to strengthen economic relations with the parties of the agreement, which includes trade in goods, trading services, investment, and development and economic cooperation, “Prime Minister Sogavare said.
He furthered that the deal will also provide a platform for interactions in sustainable development further adding that one of the Country’s interests is the labor mobility arrangement, which is an annex to the agreement.
“This component will allow Solomon islanders to work in Australia and New Zealand,” He said.
According to Prime Minister Sogavare, Solomon Islands is the sixth country to ratify the trade agreement and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade has already notified the Pacer plus depository box in Tonga, about its ratification of the trade agreement.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in the meantime stated that the government was humbled and continues to be thankful to development partners and donors for the endless support towards the Country’s fight against COVID-19.
“On behalf of the government, and people of Solomon Islands, I wish to express my appreciation and gratitude to the government and people of Australia, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, Japan, and other government and non-government agencies who have stood by us during these times of challenges,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.