Wednesday, 23 March 2011
CASE 239 - Austral-Asian Pacific Union
The Austral-Asian Pacific Union or pacific union is a proposed development of the Pacific Islands Forum, Australia and parts of S. East Asia, suggested in 2003 by a committee of the Australian Senate, into a political and economic intergovernmental community. The union, if formed, will have a common charter, institutions and currency. Although former Prime Minister of Australia John Howard spoke of a Pacific Union whilst in office, his government's emphasis was focused on bilateral relations and agreements with the individual states of the Forum. There has been a call from within both the Australian and New Zealand business communities to extend the Closer Economic Relations (CER) Free Trade Agreement to other Pacific Island nations, moving towards a single market and allowing the free movement of people and goods. Harmonising both the CER and the Pacific Regional Trade Agreement (PARTA) is one possibility of moving towards this goal. The idea's future has become somewhat confused with the Rudd Government's call for an Asia-Pacific Community, which would have a wider membership than a Pacific Union.
Australia's government are pushing for it harder than most