Vila Times

PACER Plus deal could be ‘extremely damaging’ to Vanuatu’s economy: expert

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An analyst says PACER Plus trade deal, which was signed by Vanuatu’s PM last year, could be extremely damaging to the economies of Pacific island nations.

Dr Cleo Paskal of the global think tank Chatham House said there was very little in PACER Plus for the island nations, RNZI reports.

She said Australia and New Zealand had bullied Pacific countries into a deal that offers very little and include no development for them.

“If you push through this deal you will end up not creating an integrated economic environment that ultimately revolves around Australia and New Zealand, you will end up with a fragmented Pacific economic area, which creates even more dislocation internally and potentially more inequalities and more abilities for outside actors to come in.”

Dr Cleo Paskal said the way PACER Plus has been approached shows a disconnect between the economic engagement in the Pacific and the political and strategic engagement.

Last year Vila Times has published an exclusive interview with another reputable expert Dr Patricia Ranald, discussing PACER Plus and its effect on Vanuatu in more details.