PICTA services agreement makes progress

18/02/2012

The latest round of PICTA (Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement) ‘trade in services’ negotiations concluded last week in Fiji.<!--more-->

The round, which was the seventh, focused on refinements to the text for the proposed PICTA trade in services agreement between members of the Pacific Island Forum. It also included talks toward finalising the bilateral negotiations between the forum nations.

A comprehensive review of the overall status of the trade in services negotiations was undertaken, with emphasis on the conclusion of the negotiations in 2012. At their meeting in September last year, Pacific leaders agreed that the Forum island countries organise necessary consultations, followed by domestic approvals of PICTA trade in services text and associated schedules of commitments with the objective of concluding the negotiations and finalising the arrangements for the leaders’ consideration at their meeting in August 2012.

The country delegations present at the negotiations in Nadi last week agreed to a framework for final engagement of key stakeholders and for progressing the finalisation of the text and the related schedule of commitments for consideration by the Pacific ACP trade officials and ministers in May 2012. The Trade Ministers will consider these suggestions and make the appropriate recommendations to the leaders.

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