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To consider road map to enlarging economic partnership

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, June 4, 2009) – When they meet in a little over a week in Samoa, Pacific Islands Forum Trade Ministers are expected to consider a road map on the enlarged Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations, which has been dubbed PACER - Plus.

It is also expected the Ministers will look at plans for the establishment of an Office of the Chief Trade Advisor to assist the island countries.

The island countries have been seeking an advisor to help level the field in their negotiations with New Zealand and Australia which are both looking to join PACER and to expand it to include trade in services.

The advisor position is expected to be decided on when Forum leaders meet in Cairns in August.

Other issues up for discussion include an update on trade capacity-building assistance for the island countries, along with the establishment of a Trade and Development Facility to promote trade-related activities in a cost effective, efficient manner.

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