Vanuatu parliament unites in opposition to PACER Plus
PORT VILA, Vanuatu-June 16: 9:56am(RNZI): The Vanuatu opposition has congratulated the government for its decision not to sign the PACER Plus trade agreement.
Vanuatu said last week that it was not yet ready to sign the trade and aid deal for Pacific nations with Australia and New Zealand, joining Fiji and Papua New Guinea in their opposition.
The opposition leader Ishmael Kalsakau said he is happy the government had finally heard the concerns raised on behalf of the people about the possible impacts the agreement would have on Vanuatu.
Mr Kalsakau believes the agreement will mean more cheap imported goods, which he says may contribute to an increase in the number of cases of non-communicable diseases in Vanuatu.
He said the opposition was not against any trade agreement with Australia and New Zealand but wanted to ensure any agreement is fair for both sides.
Ten of the 18 members of the Pacific Islands Forum have so far signed PACER Plus.
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