Pacific nation Samoa has ratified the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus ta taking the lead as first of the Pacific Island nations and the third country overall to ratify the agreement, known as PACER Plus.
Australia has welcomed the move as a major step towards bringing the agreement into force, which will deliver closer economic integration across the region.
“PACER Plus provides an avenue to bring Pacific nations even closer together, and help foster a secure, stable and prosperous region,” Foreign Minister Payne said.
Samoa joins Australia and New Zealand as countries that have ratified the agreement.
Minister Payne said the agreement was an important part of Australia’s stepped-up engagement in the Pacific and would promote prosperity and development for our Pacific neighbours.
PACER Plus is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (FTA) covering goods, services and investment.
It will provide commercial opportunities for Australian exporters and investors in a range of sectors while helping Pacific nations build their economic independence.
The agreement will enter into force 60 days after the eighth signatory ratifies the agreement. Signatories are Australia, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.