Historic PACER Plus agreement finally concluded

Thursday, 20 April 2017, 4:12 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Hon Todd McClay
Minister of Trade

20 April 2017
Media Statement

Historic PACER Plus agreement finally concluded

Trade Minister Todd McClay says the successful conclusion of PACER Plus negotiations is a landmark day for trade and the sustainable economic development of the Pacific.

"PACER Plus is a unique trade and development agreement. It includes a development package of more than $55 million that will help raise standards of living, create employment opportunities and increase export capacity in Pacific Island countries,” Mr McClay says.

The agreement which was reached in Brisbane today by Pacific Island, New Zealand and Australian Trade Ministers includes tariff phase out periods which recognise the vulnerable nature of many Pacific economies and the strong relationship they share with Australia and New Zealand.

Scores of Chinese billionaires and CEOs have disappeared in ‘state-sanctioned abductions’

DOZENS of China’s billionaires, millionaires and business executives have disappeared in “state-sanctioned abductions” — only to reappear days or weeks later without explanation — in the past 12 months.

In the latest incident, Chinese-born Canadian tycoon Xiao Jianhua was kidnapped from his luxury apartment in Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel by mainland security agents on January 27.

Chinese Authorities Arrest Over 100 Human Rights Activists and Lawyers in Desperate Crackdown on Dissent

More than 100 people were swept up in an unprecedented police crackdown on mainland human rights advocates on the weekend, with six – including four lawyers – criminally detained in what state media said was a nationwide operation to smash a “criminal gang”.

It said “the criminal gang” comprised Zhou, Wang Yu, Wang Quanzhang, Huang as well as Liu, Bao and high-profile activist Wu Gan, who masterminded many plots in the name of “rights defence, justice and public interest”. It accused them of “colluding with petitioners to disturb social order and to reach their goals with ulterior motives”.

Asia-Pacific to leave N.America behind as world’s richest region by 2016 – study

The Asia-Pacific region has overtaken Europe in terms of global wealth management for the first time, becoming the world’s second wealthiest region with $47 trillion says a report released by BCG. It’s on the way to overtaking North America next year.

In 2019 private wealth in the countries in the Asia-Pacific area is expected to account for one-third of global wealth, according to the report published Monday.

China Secretly Conducts Second Flight Test Of New Ultra High-Speed Missile

China recently conducted the second flight test of a new, ultra-high-speed missile that is part of what analysts say is Beijing’s global system of attack weapons capable of striking the United States with nuclear warheads.

The latest test of the new hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV) known as Wu-14 took place Aug. 7 at a missile facility in western China, said U.S. government officials familiar with details of the test reported in internal channels.

China Declares Australia a Military Threat Over US Pact

China’s state-run media have declared Australia a threat to its national security, after Australia finalized a 25-year military pact with the United States.

The United States currently has 1,200 troops from the Marine Corps and Air Force training with Australian troops for humanitarian and disaster relief. The defense agreement will increase the number of U.S. troops at Darwin in northern Australia to 2,500.

The Chinese regime is none too pleased about the agreement, however.

TPP deal on cards this month: Bollard, Every country has to ratify one way or another, which would take a year.

It is possible a Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal will be thrashed out by the end of the month, says Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) executive director Alan Bollard. Trade officials are busy ahead of a meeting of Apec trade ministers in Qingdao, China on May 18 and 19.

Among them are the trade ministers of the 12 countries negotiating a TPP agreement. "They have pencilled in going to Singapore immediately after that for a TPP meeting but I think they will only do that if they think they can get a sign-off," Bollard, the former Reserve Bank governor who now heads the Apec secretariat, said on Thursday.

From the Experimental GMO Fields of Kauai to the TPP: Connecting the Dots

Much attention has been turned in recent months to the fact that the agro-chemical/GMO industry -- corporate giants Dow, Pioneer DuPont, Syngenta, Monsanto, BASF -- have been using Hawaii since the 1990s as one of their main testing grounds for experiments engineering new pesticide-crop combos. On the "Garden Island" of Kauai, the industry controls over 15,000 acres of prime agricultural land, which they drench with over 17 tons of restricted-use pesticides each year, and likely at least five times that amount in non-restricted pesticides that may be equally as harmful (such as glyphosate).

Australia seeks further military cooperation with NZ

Australia wants to further ramp up military cooperation with New Zealand in the South Pacific as problems compound across the island states.

New Zealand observers will also be embedded for the first time in the American-led Talisman Sabre exercises in Queensland and the Coral Sea this year, easing the problems Australia has had in dealing separately with the two defence forces since the 1985 Anzus split.

The Pacific Ocean: The Pentagon’s Next “Human Battleground”

The Pentagon planners and their paid anthropologist shills are gearing up for the Pentagon’s next battle: the one for the Pacific that will ensure that the island nations that dot the vast maritime expanse will remain a part of the Anglo-American sphere of influence and not become part of a «Chinese lake».

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