Investment officials from the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) countries gathered in Sydney, Australia from 27-29 March to learn from investment experts and from each other on the investment component of PACER Plus.
This workshop is the first opportunity for officials to meet and discuss the commitments and obligations all parties have made and share progress on implementation and ideas on how they can use PACER Plus as mechanism to improve the investment environment in their home countries.
“By implementing the provisions in the Investment Chapter of PACER Plus, countries are demonstrating their commitment to increasing inclusive investment, creating jobs, and delivering better outcomes for their people across the country,” says Alipate Tavo, Trade & Investment Adviser at the PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU). “Each country will have a different approach, but the principles remain the same.”
PACER Plus is a regional development-centered trade and investment agreement aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals. The Agreement is designed to support participating countries to stimulate economic growth by becoming more active partners in, and benefit from, regional and global trade. Ten countries are currently parties to the Agreement: Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.
With the exception of Tonga which has a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom, PACER Plus is the first International Investment Agreement (IIA) that many Pacific countries have entered into, a key milestone in improving access to international investment. PACER Plus is also one of the world’s most innovative IIAs in that it was developed and designed specifically for the economic and cultural contexts of the Pacific and its regional partners.
The Introductory Investment Workshop will familiarise Investment Contact Points with the rationale behind inclusion of investment provisions in PACER Plus and the role of IIAs in partnership with national investment and broader economic development strategy. All Parties have identified the attraction of foreign investment as a key growth strategy; however, this must be done in manner that respects each Parties’ priorities, the sectors they want to focus on, and the types of investors and investments they would like to encourage, based on their community needs.
Co-organised with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Sydney, the three-day workshop will be funded by the PPIU. In the following days, the ADB will convene a Business Registry Workshop for Forum Island Countries from 29-31 March to discuss improving the investment admission processes and procedures across the region.