PACER Plus Implementation Unit Advocates for International Standards at the ISO Annual Meeting
22 Sep 2023
BRISBANE, Australia – Mr. Roy Lagolago, Head of the PACER Plus Implementation Unit (PPIU), was among the participants at the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Annual Meeting, held from 18-22 September 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. The event, hosted by Standards Australia, brought together global experts and leaders to discuss collaboration, innovation, and sustainable solutions for addressing pressing global challenges. It also explored the role of International Standards in achieving the 2030 Global Agenda's Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr. Lagolago's presence at the ISO Annual Meeting was marked by a talanoa focused on how the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus (PACER Plus) could support Pacific parties in becoming more actively engaged with ISO standards and understanding their significance.
PACER Plus, a unique development-based trade agreement between Australia, New Zealand and eight Pacific countries, aims to foster economic growth, trade liberalisation, and sustainable development among its parties. Mr. Lagolago's discussion with interested delegates from the Pacific explored how PACER Plus could contribute to their ambitions to play a more significant role in ISO's standardisation efforts.
"We believe that embracing international standards is key to achieving economic growth, sustainability, and prosperity in the Pacific," said Mr. Lagolago. "PACER Plus is committed to helping our member nations better understand and engage with ISO standards to enhance the quality of products and services they offer while facilitating trade with the broader international community."
The Pacific delegation's attendance at the ISO Annual Meeting was made possible through the support of Standards Australia and the United Kingdom's Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Their contributions enabled officials from the Pacific to participate actively in discussions and share their perspectives on standards development.
The United Kingdom is also committing AU$5.8 million to bolster the adoption of standards within Commonwealth countries. This investment aims to dismantle trade barriers, foster economic resilience, diminish reliance on aid, and pave the way for Pacific countries and other Commonwealth members to seize new opportunities for international businesses.
Hon. Crossley Tatui, Niue's Minister for Finance and Infrastructure and the current chair of the PACER Plus Ministers Meeting, emphasized the significance of PACER Plus at both national and regional levels, highlighting its potential to deliver tangible benefits to Pacific countries.
Ms. Leata Alaimoana, Queensland Trade Commissioner for the Pacific, discussed the close ties between the Australian state of Queensland and the Pacific, underscoring the opportunities for greater engagement with PACER Plus.
Dr. Ulrich Diekmann, Regional Quality Infrastructure Coordination with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, provided valuable insights into the Pacific's ongoing efforts to strengthen its quality infrastructure, aligning with international standards to improve competitiveness and trade capabilities.
The ISO Annual Meeting provided a vital platform for fostering global partnerships and advancing the adoption of international standards. The participation of Mr. Lagolago in facilitating discussions on PACER Plus and its connection to ISO standards underscored the Agreement's commitment to quality, sustainability, and international collaboration.
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