Pacific countries

New trade deal could divide Pacific - NZ MP

The veteran of the aid and development sector is critical of the PACER PLUS agreement involving New Zealand and Australia and 12 island countries that is set to be signed in June.

But missing from it are the two biggest economies among the island nations, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.

While PACER is being touted by Australia and New Zealand as a great deal for the island countries, Mr Coates said they get few benefits.

The MP said the deal also goes against the emphasis placed on regionalism by Australia and New Zealand.

NZ Green MP says little in PACER Plus for Pacific countries

Barry Coates said most of the gains would go to New Zealand and Australia.

He said market access was still denied for many fruits and vegetables, particularly into Australia, there was no long-term commitment on visas for seasonal labourers, and only a fraction of the aid needed for the island countries to build their exporting capacity.

Mr Coates, who had previously worked in the aid and development sector as head of OXFAM in New Zealand, said the PACER deal, from when it was first mooted 16 years ago, was always meant to be for the people of the island countries.

Faced with ‘clear science, real threats’ countries must remain committed to Paris climate deal – UN

“We are dealing with scientific facts, not politics. And the facts are clear. Climate change is a direct threat in itself, and a multiplier of many other threats,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres told a General Assembly High-Level action event aimed at invigorating political momentum on climate change, highlighting its deep links to the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.
Guterres said his messages to the meeting are simple.

Pacific countries to sign trade deal next month

Touted as a "trade and economic integration" agreement by Australia and New Zealand negotiations on PACER Plus have been going since 2009.

Its proponents say it aims to create jobs, raise standards of living and encourage sustainable economic development in the Pacific region.

But those campaigning against it say it is unnecessarily restrictive and does not achieve anything that could not be achieved bilaterally.

Reliability and safety linked to prices of petroleum products in the Pacific

It remains a key driver of their economies and a major determinant of their energy security.

Recognising the need to enhance an understanding of the Pacific petroleum industry and the mechanics of the various factors that influence the prices of petroleum products, the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with S & P Global Platts is conducting a week-long (20–24 March) regional petroleum industry workshop in Auckland, New Zealand.

S & P Global Platts is the lead provider of petroleum pricing data in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pacific tries to focus on coastal fishery management

The heads of fisheries from 27 countries are in Noumea this week to talk about the management of the regional fisheries.

This year there has been a renewed focus on coastal fisheries surveillance and management.

The director general of the Pacific Community, Colin Tukuitonga says despite the huge importance of coastal fisheries to Pacific peoples there is virtually no surveillance and little data.

Pacific Hub grows into a hive of activity

In less than a year, this online initiative has been successful in getting several exporters, importers, investors and investees together.

“The Pacific Hub has conceived and built by our team in Auckland after our 2015 Investment Mission to Micronesia,” says Michael Greenslade, Trade Commissioner, PT&I NZ. “We felt that we needed a permanent online presence to promote investment ready projects from the Pacific.”

Pasifika participation excites Pacific EDAs

The countries represented are Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands, Palau, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Most of the country delegations will be led by a senior official of its Economic Development Agency (EDA).

World Bank to almost triple support to Pacific by 2019

The International Development Association, the bank's fund for the world's most in need countries, spent $US360 million in the Pacific in 2015 and this will increase this to $US900 million next year.

World Bank vice president for East Asia and the Pacific, Victoria Kwakwa announced the increase during a visit to Vanuatu over the weekend.

Ms Kwakwa says the bank’s entire Pacific island partners will benefit from the increase.

Indonesia accuses Pacific countries of interference

RNZ reports the accusation during the UN General Assembly came after leaders from six Pacific countries - Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Tuvalu - expressed concern about human rights abuses in Papua.

Calls for Papuan self-determination rights to be respected were also made by some of the leaders during this 71st session of the general assembly debate.

"Human rights violations in West Papua and the pursuit for self-determination of West Papua are two sides of the same coin," said the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Manasseh Sogavare.