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Landmark Pacific agreement to be signed

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 13/06/2017

A landmark trade and services agreement between New Zealand, Australia and 12 Pacific Island states is about to be signed in Tonga.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says it will usher in a new era of closer economic relations and future-proof access for New Zealand companies.

It's known as Pacer Plus and has been eight years in the making.

"The agreement will create a common set of trading rules covering goods, services and investment in support of economic growth," Mr McClay said ahead of the signing ceremony on Wednesday.

"These rules will reduce tariffs and red tape for New Zealand exporters and investors, which will increase the attractiveness of the region for trade and investment."

Pacer Plus builds on existing trade agreements: the 1980 South Pacific Regional Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement and the original 2001 Pacer agreement.

It includes Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

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