By . Share 0 Tweet Share 0 1 May 2017, Suva, Fiji Regional Private Sector and Civil Society organisations will have an opportunity for informed discussions on PACER Plus prior to the signing of the Agreement. The 7th regional Non-State Actors Dialogue is being planned for the 29th of May ahead of the signing, which is scheduled for June. Dame Meg Taylor The Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Dame Meg Taylor, welcomed the progress made on the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) Plus negotiations, and encouraged participating non-state actor organisations to continue playing their important role in advancing the Agreement. “It is critical that the region take an inclusive approach to the finalisation of the PACER Plus text, and its implementation going forward. The involvement of the private sector and the civil society, as appropriate, in the execution of the PACER Plus is extremely important.” “The purpose of the Pacific Islands Forum is to strengthen regional cooperation and integration in order to further Members’ shared goals of economic growth, sustainable development, good governance and security,” said Dame Meg. “PACER Plus provides a framework toward regional economic development and integration.” At their annual meeting in 2016, Forum Leaders reiterated the need for PACER Plus to promote regional integration in the Pacific, and to assist the Forum Island Countries achieve robust economic growth and sustainable development. Sir Mekere Morauta’s report on the Pacific Plan Review highlighted the need to strengthen regional cooperation, collaboration and integration initiatives in the Pacific region. “Through the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, a deeper commitment to regionalism and promotion of prioritised agendas for the region through an inclusive consultative process is being actively facilitated. PACER Plus arrangements can assist the region in this course,” added the Secretary General. The Trade Ministers of Australia, the Cook Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu recently concluded negotiations for PACER Plus and have decided to sign the Agreement in Tonga in June 2017.