THE benefits derived from being a party to the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations with Australia and New Zealand (PACER Plus) will outweigh benefits achieved through the Melanesian Spearhead Group Trade Agreement (MSGTA).
The comments were made by Edwin Kessie, the chief adviser for Pacific Island Countries at the Office of the Chief Trade Advisor (OCTA).
Mr Kessie said the multitude of free trade agreement currently being discussed and examined had resulted in delays to agreement and ratification of PACER Plus in the Pacific.
"The MSG is only made up of four countries whereas PACER Plus has 13 countries, hopefully Fiji will join in so that this will become 14 countries plus Australia and New Zealand.
"The benefits from PACER Plus will far outweigh the benefits of MSGTA.
"PACER Plus will give greater access for PICs to Australia and New Zealand. From that point of view PACER Plus will convey more benefits."
Mr Kessie said rationalisation was inevitable because of the various trade agreements being discussed and negotiated.
"At some point there will need to be a rationalisation of free trade agreements in the region.
"PACER Plus has not been resolved and agreements have yet to be reached because of the many trade agreements under discussion," said Mr Kessie.