Solomons signs MSG free trade agree­ment

Fiji Sun - - Sunbiz -

The prime min­is­ter of Solomon Is­lands has signed the Me­lane­sian Free Trade Agree­ment mak­ing his coun­try the first Me­lane­sian Spear­head Group mem­ber to do so. Only two MSG mem­ber coun­tries need sign the agree­ment for it to come into ef­fect. The sub-re­gional trade deal is an ex­pan­sion of for­mer agreemens be­tween Solomon Is­lands, Fiji, Pa­pua New Guinea and Van­u­atu.

It cov­ers trade in ser­vices, in­vest­ment and labour mo­bil­ity. Dur­ing the sign­ing on Fri­day Manasseh So­gavare said the sub-re­gional trade deal was one of the an­swers to im­prov­ing the economies of Me­lane­sian coun­tries.

Mr So­gavare also said it was strate­gi­cally im­por­tant to con­clude the sign­ing process in light of Aus­tralia and New Zealand also mov­ing to­wards com­plet­ing the re­gional trade deal with Pa­cific is­land coun­tries known as PACER-Plus. The MSG’s deputy di­rec­tor gen­eral Molean Kilepak said the next coun­tries ex­pected to sign would be Fiji and Pa­pua New Guinea fol­lowed by Van­u­atu.

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