THE Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) successfully concluded its SPS and TBT Workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands, held from 23-24 May.
The workshop was specifically designed to create awareness and promote understanding of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) obligations and requirements outlined in the PACER Plus Agreement.
The two-day workshop brought together key stakeholders from the government, private sector, and non-governmental organisations in Solomon Islands. The event ensured that relevant government officials, importers, exporters, farmers, women groups, youth, community groups, and all those involved in trade are well-informed and updated on SPS and TBT measures, as well as their implementation when engaging in trade activities with other parties of PACER Plus.
“This workshop and the topics covered are very important, especially for us who want to export our local products. It’s been an eye-opener for many of us. Thank you to the PACER Plus Implementation Unit for facilitating this. It has allowed us to think on what needs to be improved, and identify where the gaps are,” said Ms Claudine Watoto, owner of Island Agro Fresh, a Solomon Island producer of flour from crops such as potato, banana, and cassava.
The Government of Solomon Islands expressed its gratitude to all the participants and to the PACER Plus Implementation Unit for their dedication and contribution to the success of the workshop.
“Historically, we have been facing a great deal of challenges in getting our local unique products into the bigger markets, such as Australia and New Zealand. Under PACER Plus, there is a Development Economic Cooperation Work Programme that also provides support to responsible agencies to assist them in creating an enabling environment for private sectors,” said Mrs Jenny Barile, Deputy Director of External Trade.
“Thank you to PPIU for conducting this awareness workshop, and for the continuous support towards the implementation of PACER Plus in Solomon Islands. PACER Plus will help our country to become more active partners in, and benefit from, regional and global trade and, in turn, create new opportunities for economic growth, jobs, and raising living standards.”