The government of the South Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu has completed the domestic requirements to be able to trade under the terms and conditions of the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA).
In a communication to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) this week, the Government of Vanuatu advised PIFS that it was ready to trade under PICTA, the PIFS said in a press release on Monday.
Vanuatu is the sixth country to formally announce the completion of domestic requirements to enable trading under PICTA,after the Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa and Solomon Islands.
"Vanuatu is committed to the deepening of trade in the region. PICTA provides the opportunity for the private sector to gain from trade preferences when exporting to the Forum Island Countries. I encourage the private sector in the region to explore these opportunities and increase intra-regional trade," said James Bule, Vanuatu's minister of trade.
PICTA provides for the gradual reduction of import duties on goods that originate from the Forum Island Countries. The reduction of import duties have commenced since Jan. 1 2007 for some countries party to PICTA, while for others it will commence on Jan. 1, 2009.
"Vanuatu's announcement shows the renewed commitment from the FICs in supporting increased trade among the FICs," said Feleti Teo, Acting Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
He encouraged the remaining FICs to expeditiously carry out their outstanding requirements under PICTA as urged by the Forum leaders.