One Region, One Family, One Future: Deepening relations with the Pacific nations through trade

September 2021

© Commonwealth of Australia 2021
ISBN: 978-1-76092-236-8

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Foreword

Abbreviations

Members the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Members of the Trade Sub-committee

Secretariat

Terms of Reference

List of Recommendations

1. Introduction

  Pacific island countries and global trade
  Economic overview of Pacific island countries
  Pacific trade architecture
  Foreign Policy White Paper and Pacific Step-up

2. Australia's existing trade and investment relationships with Pacific island countries

  Introduction
  Australia as a trading partner
  Doing business in the Pacific
  Tourism a growing source of trade before COVID-19
  Australian investment in the Pacific
  Linkages between Australia and the Pacific
  Pacific diaspora, employment and labour mobility
  Education linkages between Australia and the Pacific
  Sources of investment for the Pacific
  Infrastructure development in the Pacific
  Improving energy and water infrastructure in the Pacific

3. Strengthening trade, investment, aid for trade and employment links with the Pacific

  Introduction
  Promoting greater regional economic integration
  Importance of labour mobility to the Pacific
  Pursuing a Pacific travel bubble with interested countries
  Agricultural aid and trade development
  Improving the biosecurity of Pacific exports into Australia
  Supporting the trade in legal timber products
  Australian aid in the Pacific
  International trade and aid partners in the Pacific
  Improving higher education outcomes in the Pacific
  Aid for Trade programs
  Supporting private sector development in the Pacific
  Improving infrastructure to grow business and trade
  Development of water infrastructure in the Pacific
  Provision of more affordable and reliable energy
  Improving transport connectivity across the Pacific
  Developing Cairns and Queensland as a Pacific hub
  Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific
  Providing improved health services to the Pacific
  Supporting sustainable growth in the Pacific

4. Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER Plus)

  Introduction
  PACER Plus Overview
  Advantages of PACER Plus
  Disadvantages of PACER Plus
  Safeguarding PACER Plus’ effective implementation
  Committee Comment

5. Seasonal worker programmes

  Introduction
  Overview of the Seasonal Worker Programme
  Overview of the Pacific Labour Scheme
  Advantages of the Seasonal Worker Programme
  Criticisms of the Seasonal Worker Programme
  Opportunities for reform of labour mobility
  Committee Comment

6. Barriers and impediments to trade and investment between Australia and the Pacific

  Introduction
  The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Pacific trade
  Navigating Australian biosecurity and quarantine laws
  The Pacific’s challenging business environment
  Remote Pacific island countries lack competiveness
  Difficulties Pacific people face to obtain visas
  Supply chain issues in the Pacific
  Unreliable power, transport and ICT infrastructure
  Poor harmonisation of standards stifle trade
  Customary ownership of land tenure across the Pacific
  Poor governance and risks of doing business in the Pacific
  Vulnerability of Pacific island countries to climate change
  Constraints to attracting private investment
  Lack of business information deters Pacific investment

7. The role of support structures and networks in trade opportunities

  Introduction
  Working with business, civil society and Pacific diaspora
  The benefits of Aid for Trade for the Pacific
  Supporting more Pacific Islander women in business
  Involving business with ministerial visits to the Pacific
  Helping the Pacific develop uniform standards
  Skills development for Pacific island customs officers
  Pacific power and Pacific water associations
  Pacific Readiness for Investment in Social Enterprise
  Expanding educational opportunities in the Pacific
  Developing sporting relationships with PacificAus Sports
  Australian Trade and Investment Commission
  Export Finance Australia
  Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
  Supporting Pacific interests in global forums
  Growing the digital economy in the Pacific
  Developing linkages between veterans and Timor-Leste

8. The views, norms and cultural practices relating to trade and investment in the Pacific

  Introduction
  Business networks and understanding of Pacific culture
  Recognising the cultural importance of kava
  Supporting the Pacific Churches Partnerships Program

9. Recommendations and references

  Supporting the Pacific recover from the impacts of COVID
  Trade and investment with the Pacific
  Pacific travel and labour mobility
  People to people ties
  The State of Queensland as a Pacific gateway

A. Submissions

B. Exhibits

C. Witnesses

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 2313
Fax: +61 2 6277 2221
jscfadt@aph.gov.au