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A new agreement has been established for technical support in Niue under the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus).

The agreement between the Government of Niue and the Australian and New Zealand funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Plus Program (PHAMA Plus) aims to facilitate agricultural trade and support development opportunities arising from participation in the PACER Plus agreement.

The partnership, launched at the Niue National Show Day in October, will work with the public and private sectors in Niue to boost trade with Australia and New Zealand and increase exports of agricultural, fresh and value-added products. Focus areas will include: biosecurity; trade; production; market access pathways, quality and standards.

PACER Plus is a trade and development agreement that came into force on 13 December 2020 signed between Australia, New Zealand and nine Forum Islands Countries (FICs). It provides these countries valuable opportunities to promote and facilitate regional trade and economic integration in the Pacific. Niue ratified PACER Plus in July 2020.

“Small island economies cannot trade competitively in the region because of the many challenges we face. Opportunities such as this with PHAMA Plus enable us to build our capacities and enhance our trading activities with key trading partners Australia and New Zealand as well as harness economic development opportunities arising from PACER Plus,” Niue Finance Minister Honourable Crossley Tatui said.

“This partnership from PHAMA Plus will translate into many positive opportunities for us as a country. We will be able to develop and strengthen our private sector, which is critical to our economic recovery efforts amid COVID-19. The future looks promising for our community of growers and exporters with the support provided by programs like PHAMA Plus.”

PHAMA Plus will work with the Government of Niue and stakeholders in Niue to establish and adopt certification and quality standards, such as for food safety and organic certification. This will in turn, allow exporters in Niue to maintain existing market access and gain access to new export market destinations for their products.

“I am very grateful and would like to acknowledge PHAMA Plus Program funded by the Governments of Australia and New Zealand for their support and engagement with Niue under PACER Plus to assist with market access opportunities for our potential agricultural products going forward,” said the Niue Minister for Natural Resources Honourable Esa Sharon Mona Faitala Aini’u.

The partnership also focuses on capacity-building for the Niue biosecurity authorities to prepare for, and manage biosecurity threats. Work will be scoped on the movement of clean shipping containers between Niue and other countries. This will strengthen the export pathway and enable the region, including Niue, to improve the efficiency of container movement and manage the spread of unwanted plant pests and diseases.

“New Zealand welcomes the ongoing support from PHAMA Plus as Niue seeks to develop sustainable economic growth and improve systems for export. PACER Plus is an important regional commitment to improved livelihoods and well-being, and we look forward to continuing our close engagement with Niue on trade issues, including as the economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue Helen Tunnah said.

PHAMA Plus currently delivers similar trade facilitation activities for the agricultural sectors in Fiji, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu, as well as other Small Islands States signatories to PACER Plus – Cook Islands and Kiribati.

Glenn Baker

Professional writer/editor with 35-plus years experience - including radio copywriting, various television writing/production roles, and writing for business magazines. I have also co-owned a wholesale food distribution business.

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