Kiribati launches PACER Plus partnership to boost agricultural exports

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    Kiribati is set to benefit from technical support and sustainable economic development opportunities arising from participation in the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus).

    This is after the Government of Kiribati launched its partnership with the Australian and New Zealand funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus) programme to facilitate trade and market access under the PACER Plus agreement.

    The partnership will extend PHAMA Plus support to Kiribati’s public and private sectors and strengthen national capacity in relation to biosecurity and market access. Through this support, Kiribati exporters will be assisted to maintain existing market access and gain access to new export market destinations for their products, including through the adoption of quality standards.

    “I have no doubt, that PHAMA Plus will help foster the achievement of our national trade and quality policies, by maintaining our existing market access and gain access to new export market destinations through the adoption of quality standards. It will in the long term, help broaden our ‘export base’, and ‘improve our economic growth’ as aspired in our Kiribati Vision for the next 20 years, the KV20,” Kiribati Minister for Commerce, Industry & Co-operatives, Bootii Nauan said.

    “And in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has now affected the whole world, our partnership with PHAMA Plus through this launched MoU, will further enhance our economic recovery and resilience, through a strengthened public-private-partnership.”

    Under the partnership, PHAMA Plus will facilitate technical discussions between Kiribati and the Solomon Islands and with other trading partners on issues of concern relating to market access and trade in fresh and processed products. This will help the relevant biosecurity agencies to complete their risk assessments and develop import protocols that will potentially open-up more market access and trade opportunities for Kiribati.

    “Australia is pleased to support Kiribati through this MoU with PHAMA Plus to develop and adopt certification and quality food standards that will support the export of high value coconut products. It will also strengthen processes for the movement of containers within the Pacific region based on Sea Container Hygiene System and preparedness for emergency response to pest and diseases outbreaks,” Australia High Commissioner to Kiribati, David Yardley said.

    “PACER Plus provides a valuable opportunity for increased trade in Kiribati, private sector growth and job creation, contributing to improving livelihoods and economic growth,” New Zealand Deputy High Commissioner to Kiribati, Marni Gilbert said.

    The partnership is the outcome of scoping mission and stakeholder discussions between PHAMA Plus and Kiribati held between February – July 2021 to identify key areas of support.

    PHAMA Plus currently delivers similar trade facilitation activities for the agricultural and horticultural sectors in Fiji, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, as well as other Small Island States signatories to PACER Plus – Cook Islands and Niue.

    Meanwhile, a redesigned website of the Kiribati Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) was also launched as part of the E-Commerce Project in Kiribati funded by the Australian Government.

    SOURCE: PHAMA PLUS/PACNEWS