THE Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus has come into effect, with Agriculture minister David Littleproud talking of opportunities for Australian farmers and for regional prosperity.

“PACER Plus enters into force for Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga,” Minister Littleproud said.

“It also remains open to accession by Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu which have signed but not ratified, and likewise to other Pacific Island countries such as Fiji and Papua New Guinea which are yet to sign the agreement.

“The agreement covers a variety of measures including biosecurity, investment and trade in goods and services.”

Mr Littleproud said the agreement would help Pacific Island nations become more active partners in regional and global trade.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud. Credit: Office of David Littleproud

“For Australian farmers, PACER Plus will open up market access, albeit to small markets, for our meat, dairy, grains, oilseeds, sugar, animal feed and processed food exports once fully implemented,” he said.

“Tariff reductions will also create more opportunities such as beef and dairy exports to Samoa and wheat, animal feed and dairy to Solomon Islands.”

Minister Littleproud said PACER Plus would support and complement the department’s work in relation to existing measures such as the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access program.

Key facts

  • Australia exported $14.6m in chicken meat, $11.6m in lamb and $7.4m in wheat to Pacific Island Countries in 2019-20 (excluding New Zealand).
  • On entry into force, Australia and New Zealand will provide development assistance over five years for the PACER Plus Implementation Package.
  • This money is to be administered through an independent PACER Plus Implementation Unit and will focus on assisting parties implement their obligations under the agreement.

Source: Office of David Littleproud