Former Minister for Trade
Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Trade Minister to participate in Pacific Islands Forum trade talks

Media release

28 April 2010

Trade Minister Simon Crean departs today on a visit to the Federated States of Micronesia to participate in the 2010 Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers' meeting in Pohnpei.

Mr Crean's visit to the Federated States of Micronesia will be the first by an Australian minister since 1998.

The key issue on the agenda will be the negotiations on the new regional economic integration agreement, known as PACER Plus.

“Reasonable progress has been made on PACER Plus since negotiations were launched by Leaders of Forum countries at their meeting in Cairns last year and we want that progress to continue,” Mr Crean said.

“PACER Plus agreement will create jobs, enhance private sector growth, raise standards of living and boost economic growth in Forum Island countries.”

The meeting in Pohnpei comes after the appointment of Dr Christopher Noonan as Chief Trade Adviser to Forum Island countries for the PACER Plus negotiations, and an officials meeting in Port Vila two weeks ago.

Mr Crean said Australia remained strongly committed to PACER Plus which offers economic and development opportunities across the Pacific.

The ministers will also consider a strategy for the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commission offices, an update on Aid for Trade programs, future funding arrangements for the Forum's World Trade Organization Office in Geneva and developments relating to traditional knowledge and intellectual property.

“I look forward to discussing these and other issues with my colleagues from around the Pacific and thank the government of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Forum Secretariat for the meeting arrangements that have been made,” Mr Crean said.

“A key part of Australia's efforts during its year as Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum is to build economic resilience in the Pacific, particularly as the global economy continues its recovery,” Mr Crean said.

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