Member States have updated the agreement to allow countries to submit lists of products that are not eligible for preferential tariffs. However, the agreement commits to gradually reducing tariffs. In this context, Fiji and Vanuatu have completely abolished customs duties on products from Member States. Msg`s Initial Trade Agreement (MSG TA) was signed in 1993 and governed the three Melanesian states, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Fiji signed the agreement in 1998, after joining MSG the year before. FLNKS has permanent observer status for the agreement. The MSG Trade Agreement was established to promote and accelerate economic development through trade relations and to create a political framework for regular consultations and reviews of the status of the agreement, to ensure that trade, both in terms of exports and imports, takes place in a true spirit of Melanesian solidarity and on a most-favoured-nation (MFN) basis. Regular negotiations are held between the Heads of State and Government of the members to review the progress and evolution of the agreement. On 18 August 2001, at the 32nd Pacific Islands Forum in Nauru, the Forum Heads of State and Government approved and signed the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations (PACER) and the Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) (a free trade agreement between the fourteen CICs). The Pacific Island Countries Trade Agreement (PICTA) creates a free trade area for goods among the 14 CICs and negotiations are underway to extend PICTA to trade in services (TIS) and temporary transport of natural persons (TMNP). ; PICTA entered into force on 13 April 2003 and aims to establish a free trade area among the fourteen Forum island States. After their entry into force, countries commit to deduct tariffs on most originating products by 2021. .
Fiji – is one of the first CICs to use its strong commitment and support for building regional integration through trade. By creating a free trade area between the CICs, PICTA will promote specialization and efficiency in the economies concerned. At present, PICTA only covers trade in goods between its members. Deducting NSOs could increase their exports of products for which they can compete with other CIF and, in return, increase their imports of products competitively produced by other CIF. The resulting increase in trade will reflect improved consumer efficiency and well-being in the CIF economies and hopefully contribute to overall job creation. . . .
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