Trade work in the Cook Islands intensifies through the visit to Rarotonga by the PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU) this week.
Supported by Business Trade and Investment Board (BTIB) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration (MFAI) the PPIU ran a workshop on the Services and Investment components of the PACER Agreement and the use of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Adaptation (MELA) approach to the formulation and implementation of all projects funded under the Agreement.
Following the workshop, the PPIU are meeting bilaterally with key agencies to discuss how MELA can be used in trade in goods, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and other components of the Agreement. Those meetings are coordinated by the BTIB with the support of MFAI.
Supporting the initiative, Ms Tepaeru Hermann, Secretary of MFAI, observed: “The Cook Islands is a party to the PACER Plus Agreement which provides a legal basis for the Cook Islands to promote its trade, investment and labour interests and priorities. While several entities will play various roles in the implementation of PACER Plus, MFAI will continue to lead overall coordination of the Cook Islands participation in PACER Plus activities. With PPIU financial support, MFAI appointed Dr. Jim Gosselin PACER Plus National Coordinator late last year to further assist with the implementation of the Agreement.”
PACER Plus related but separate, MFAI will continue to work with the PPIU and the International Labour Organisation to co-ordinate in close consultation with domestic public and private sector entities the development of a pilot program to help alleviate labour shortages in the tourism sector.
Development of the program will be preceeded by an assessment of the labour regulatory and institutional framework of the Cook Islands with work expected to get underway in the second quarter of this year.
The call for the pilot program emanated from a scoping exercise completed in early 2023 which drew on the perspectives of both private and public sector, in recommending consideration of a pilot program for intra-Pacific Labour Mobility. The report can be viewed https://mfai.gov.ck/important-resources