The Vanuatu Prime Minister Hon Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas today signed the PACER Plus agreement in Apia, Samoa.
After signing the PACER Plus agreement, the Prime Minister said that by signing the PACER Plus Vanuatu is taking on duties and responsibilities to ensure market access for goods and services are secured in the region for the foreseeable future
“We now join the rest of the FORUM family to travel together on a long journey of exciting possibilities. Vanuatu is always ready to do business and we have reaffirmed that by signing this agreement. We invite more foreign investors to come to Vanuatu and do business with us – with low tax regime, efficient services and close proximity to the markets now available.
Even with the signing already taking place Vanuatu recognises that PACER Plus will work only if Vanuatu does the right thing, invest in the right infrastructure, focuses on sustainable industry development and access increased development assistance to support and improve Vanuatu’s physical and soft infrastructure.
Vanuatu continues to call for the removal of the unfair commercial kava prohibitions into Australia and considers this as crucial as we do further work and utilise the already allocated funds for kava development in Vanuatu.
Support to increasing domestic and local manufacturing is one particular area that Vanuatu needs to develop and it is hoped that the PACER Plus will help propel Vanuatu in doing a lot more with the policies that are already in place.
Also at the signing, the Prime Minister called on Australia and NZ to increase the Development Assistance programme to the Pacific – in the bilateral programme as well as from the PACER Plus to support our Aid for Trade needs.
The issue of visa free access by Ni-Vanuatu was also raised and will be subject to further bilateral discussions in the coming months.